IHS to Honor 70 Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson with New Exhibition

George and Ann Schulteti enjoy a fine day for a Harley ride. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson)

The Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) newest exhibition gives guests a chance to celebrate history – and Harleys. The exhibition, “The Harley Shop: Seventy Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson,” runs July 22 – Sept. 9 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. An IHS release has more:

The Harley Shop features artifacts, collectables, photographs and vintage motorcycles as it showcases this iconic American treasure through the lens of a Hoosier family who has been in the business for almost a century.

When George Schulteti began working for Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1922, his first job was to sweep the floors of the factory’s service department. Later, he worked in research and development. Schulteti was also one of the company’s test riders. During World War II, he took inventory of all the Harley-Davidson motorcycles in military service and rode more than 50,000 miles per year.

While Schulteti enjoyed his work at the factory, he wanted to become a dealer. Schulteti and a partner bought the Indianapolis dealership in 1947, and he and his wife, Ann, moved from Wisconsin. She was the office manager and worked the parts counter. The couple lived above the dealership at 701 S. Meridian St. Ten years later, Schulteti bought his partner’s share of the business. The family welcomed customers to that location for the next 51 years.

By the time the dealership moved in 1998 to its current location, 4930 Southport Crossing Place, the number of employees had risen from 17 to 32. Future plans include raising a fifth generation of the Schulteti family to carry on the tradition.

“I get great pleasure sharing each day with family and watching them grow and carry on a family tradition,” says Bob Schulteti, George Schulteti’s son and second generation owner of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. “We feel honored to be recognized by the Indiana Historical Society and given the opportunity to display some of our family history.”

Guests can visit The Harley Shop during the History Center’s regular operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission includes parking, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Harley Shop is presented by Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. For more information about the dealership, visit www.southsideharley.com.

For more information about the exhibition or other IHS offerings, call 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

Experience Eli Lilly’s Humble Beginnings at Indiana Historical Society

If you haven’t been to an Indiana Historical Society “You Are There” exhibit, you need to rethink some things. They are always artfully done and make for an incredibly engaging way to learn history.

The new “Eli Lilly at the Beginning” experience is no different. I visited the facility in November for a “Getting to Know” feature in BizVoice (stay tuned for the January/February 2017 edition). Actor Mark McNees was quite knowledgeable, both in and out of character as Col. Lilly, and helped me see Lilly in a way I hadn’t before. Like many central Indiana natives, I’ve always heard about the company and its impact on the pharmaceutical industry — and its dedication to philanthropy — but I was admittedly ignorant about its founder and his humble beginnings. This experience allows visitors to interact with not only Lilly, but his first employees (he only had three) and his son, J.K.

He developed his lab in 1876 in what is the heart of today’s downtown Indianapolis. But the industry climate was quite treacherous.

“In the papers, they called Indiana the dumping ground for bad pharmaceuticals,” McNees explained. “So they were what we call patent medicines – not patents like Lilly would have today – patents were like snake oils. So anybody could say ‘I came up with this hair elixir’ and all you needed to advertise in the paper was a testimonial.

“A lot of times they would go to a family member, who’d say, ‘I tried Uncle Joe’s hair tonic and I grew hair,’” he adds. “So they would sell it through wagons or stores. There was zero regulation at the time. Also, people were making medicines incorrectly and often killing people. We dealt with things like belladonna (deadly night shade), opium, strychnine, things like that.”

McNees relayed that Lilly grew his business largely because of his reputation for quality and consistency.

For more on the experience, which is scheduled to run until January 2018, visit the IHS web site.