A large bronze statue that has been a part of Leschi for more than 30 years has been stolen. Specifically, it is (or was) a statue of Captain Frank Gilbert, the last ferry boat captain between Leschi and Mercer Island before the bridges were built. Since 1981, it has been a member of the restaurant space that currently houses BluWater Bistro, and before that, Leschi Lake Cafe. Says BluWater owner Bart Evans:
The statue itself is five-foot-seven and 350 pounds...and then the cement and anchoring. Somebody had to have really set out on a mission.
The Captain was stolen about two weeks ago from a private residence in Hood Canal. The statue was getting prepped to be donated to the City of Kirkland, where Gilbert's family still resides.
Where our restaurant is used to be the old ferry landing, where the boat would pull in. He lived up on the hill across the street. So, he was a regular who came into the old establishment all through the 30s, 40s and 50s. He was at that bar everyday. Our restaurant down on Leschi has been a continuously operating restaurant for at least 100 years.
Evans said he spent the morning visiting scrap yards where they told him they had not seen the Captain, but that if someone did try to sell him, they'd offer about $1.60/lb.
Evans is offering a $500 reward.
One of our regular customers over the weekend matched that, so it's now up to $1,000.
Evans is also trying to track down the original artist comissioned to do the likeness of Cpt. Frank, Maggie Weir. If you have any information, hit us up on the tipline.
[Photo: BluWater Bistro]