The mural of the Discovery moves east (about 30 feet) at West 5
If you've ever had a meal or drinks at West 5 in the junction, or if you are of a finer vintage, and recall dining at the Vann Brothers Restaurant a couple of decades ago, you will likely recall a large painting, a mural in fact of the HMS Discovery. The Discovery was the ship upon which Captain George Vancouver first sailed into Puget Sound.
Ever since 2002 when the painting was rescued from the Vann Building basement it has hung in the back of West 5, on the south wall where it's provenance and meaning were known to only a few.
Now it has been moved to a place where it can be seen more readily and the story of the ship, and it's Captain and crew can be learned and remembered. It was moved on Sunday to the north wall near the entrance of West 5 “Discovery” was painted by Fred Oldfield in the early 1950s. The new location is visible to the general public from the sidewalk.
About Captain Vancouver
Departing England with two ships, HMS Discovery and HMS Chatham, on 1 April 1791, Vancouver commanded an expedition charged with exploring the Pacific region. In its first year the expedition travelled to Cape Town, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Hawaii, collecting botanical samples and surveying coastlines along the way. He formally claimed at Possession Point, King George Sound Western Australia, now the town of Albany, Western Australia for the British. Proceeding to North America, Vancouver followed the coasts of present-day Oregon and Washington northward. In April 1792 he encountered American Captain Robert Gray off the coast of Oregon just prior to Gray's sailing up the Columbia River.
Vancouver entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca, between Vancouver Island and the present-day Washington state mainland, on 29 April 1792. His orders included a survey of every inlet and outlet on the west coast of the mainland, all the way north to Alaska. Most of this work was in small craft propelled by both sail and oar; manoeuvring larger sail-powered vessels in uncharted waters was generally impractical and dangerous.
Vancouver named many features for his officers, friends, associates, and his ship Discovery, including:
- Mount Baker – after Discovery's 3rd Lieutenant Joseph Baker, the first on the expedition to spot it
- Mount St. Helens – after his friend, Alleyne Fitzherbert, 1st Baron St Helens
- Puget Sound – after Discovery's 2nd lieutenant Peter Puget, who explored its southern reaches.
- Mount Rainier – after his friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier.
- Port Gardner and Port Susan, Washington – after his former commander Vice Admiral Sir Alan Gardner and his wife Susannah, Lady Gardner.
- Whidbey Island – after naval engineer Joseph Whidbey.
- Discovery Passage, Discovery Island, Discovery Bay, Port Discovery and Discovery Park (Seattle).
About Fred Oldfield
Fred Oldfield (March 18, 1918 – February 24, 2017) was an American cowboy and western artist renowned for his paintings of western scenes and his many “club” murals that can still be found adorning the walls of classic eateries in Western Washington (El Gaucho, Hattie’s Hat, Robin Hood Village Inn, etc.).
More about Fred: https://fredoldfieldcenter.org/about-fred/
About the Oldfield Western Heritage & Art Center, Puyallup WA
About West 5
West 5, a retro-chic-styled cocktail lounge and restaurant located at 4539 SW California Ave. SW in the bustling heart of West Seattle, has been in operation since 2003. Famous for its menu of comfort food and cocktail classics, West 5 is currently open for limited-contact in-house dining, Online Orders and convenient carry out in the heart of West Seattle.