Mine Superintendent’s House

Mine Superintendent's House

July 1999 Photo by David Bangs

This home has a history of mining and war behind it. Built in 1913 for Count Alvo Von Alvensleben, a tall dark captain in the Kaiser’s Cavalry, it was elegant for its time. There is some question whether the captain actually occupied the home. It was known as Devana to local residents for many years, though no one seems to know why.

The count supposedly was in the Northwest representing the Kaiser’s personal interest in mining when he came to Issaquah to supervise chemicals in mine production. He had previously been working in British Columbia, but was expelled from Canada when war was declared. He came to the United States with the permission of President Wilson.

Some sources say the count was recalled to Germany when we also declared war, but a personal friend of Von Alvensleben reported that he was interned for the duration of the war. He is said to have written a letter of protest daily to the Swiss embassy using Greek or Latin as code. He became a U.S. citizen in 1936.

The house was set on five acres just off Wildwood Boulevard, now the site of condominiums, before it was moved to Gilman Village in 1977. It was built entirely of fir using tongue and groove construction.

The Taylor family of Issaquah bought the house in 1944 and did some remodeling. Many other Issaquah families lived in the home over the years.

When moved to Gilman Village in 1977 it had degenerated into a shabby dwelling known as “Alien Acres”. Though the interior of the house has been changed, the exterior once again reflects the elegance of its beginning.