Artist- Guy Drennan
5th and Columbia
“Vancouver’s Old Apple Tree was once Young”
August 2012 20’ x 24’ 5th & Columbia
Depicts the orchard at the fort in the 1850”s, after the Army took up residence on the hill.
Painted with Kelly Hytrek, special thanks to Gerry Suguitan.
Clark County Mural Society proudly presents an artistic rendering of the history of the “Old Apple Tree”. This mural is an artistic vision, a little bit of time-travel to the early
days of this tree … a young, innocent girl out in the orchard reaching to pick a favorite apple for her afternoon walk … a pastoral scene indeed. And certainly one honoring a tree that is a lovely part of the history of Clark County.
This tree is documented in many ways by historians, agricultural experts and even the Army. It is thought to be the oldest apple tree in the Northwest, and that speaks to the
hearts of many considering that Washington is famous for her apple industry all over the world. It is believed the tree was planted circa 1826, and it is thought of as the matriarch of the Apple Industry.
It seems that E.L. French a Clark County orchardist, one time state director of agriculture, and also a state senator, is the first person who took the early steps to protect and preserve the tree. It has challenged experts through the ages to determine if it was one of the original trees in the first orchards of the Hudson Bay Company Fort Vancouver or if it was simply a descendent. The tree has suffered through time and circumstances, but still stands though
admittedly not in her finer glory. The good news is that the community recognizes the old tree’s importance and hence the City of Vancouver established the “Old Apple Tree Research Team” in 2009. The hope is to ensure the restoration and survival of this landmark.
For most of us, it doesn’t really matter if it was THE first apple tree as much as the fact that it is our symbol … a symbol of a time gone-by, a symbol of resilience and certainly a symbol of one of the most delicious things that makes Washington famous the world round — APPLES!
Artist Guy Drennan has captured a charming aspect of this part of our history in his design. In the glory days of our Old Apple Tree, no doubt she yielded apples to innocent youth, passers-by or anyone who was willing to gently pick a tasty treat. We like to think of times such as that to sooth a weary soul in today’s hectic times. Nothing wrong with that … some would say a blessing.
Clark County Mural Society is very happy to have this representation of our Old Apple Tree for everyone to enjoy. Stop by … you may suspect the scent of apple blossoms … and maybe have a short vacation while you enjoy the view. Thanks to Guy Drennan and his team for taking us there.