Alvensleben, Gustav Constantin Alvo von

ALVENSLEBEN, Gustav Constantin Alvo von, financier (b 25 July 1879, Westphalia, Germany; d Oct 22, 1965, Seattle, WA). The son of a Prussian count, he embarked on a trip around the world and arrived in VANCOUVER in 1904. He was penniless but real estate investments soon made him wealthy; in the pre-WWI period he was one of Vancouver's most flamboyant businessmen, playing a key role in encouraging German investment in BC. His Kerrisdale estate, staffed by 13 servants, is now CROFTON HOUSE SCHOOL. Alvensleben was visiting Berlin when the war began. Unable to return to Canada, where a depression had wiped out much of his fortune and the government had confiscated the rest, he relocated to the US. He was interned in 1917, then lived in Seattle for the rest of his life though he was involved in business speculation in BC from time to time. He was rumoured to have been a wartime spy for the Germans but this was never proved.