The Rufus R. Rand House Then and Now

The 63 room Rufus R. Rand mansion in Minnetonka was about half completed when it was destroyed by fire. It was eventually completed and crowned the “Still Pond” estate on 250 acres west of Gray’s Bay. Built at the height of the Great Depression, this amazing French Chateau style house had 14 bedrooms, 13 fireplaces, 16 bathrooms, a marble staircase, sunken gardens, fountains, an observatory and a 1.3 million gallon swimming pool. The 243 foot long home contains 600,000 cuboc feet of space. The outer walls were 17 inches thick. The house was often referred to as the finest suburban house west of Chicago. Today the former Rand Mansion has become the “Lake Office” of one of the largest privately held companies in the world, Cargill.

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Rufus R. Rand was a member of the family that owned the Minneapolis Gas Company, he joined the Lafayette Flying Corps in World War I. Rand returned to Minnesota, and in 1929 invested in the Mohawk Aircraft Company, becoming the company’s receiver when it went into bankruptcy in 1931. Rand owned the last few Pinto aircraft built by the company, and sold them off to pay the bills. Rand was associated with the Universal Air Lines Corporation. He built the Rand Tower office building in downtown Minneapolis in the 1930s and was a Regent of the University of Minnesota. During World War II, he served as Executive Officer in charge of security at a bomber base in England and was one of the twelve founders of the Air Force Association. He also served as mayor of Wayzata, a State Commander of the American Legion and officer of the Minneapolis Gas Company.

 

3 Comments

  1. Fredrika Millett Camozzi

    Great article about my grandfather! My mother, Fredrika Rand Millett, was his eldest daughter. I was trying to put a brief Rand family history together for a high school friend from Connecticut who now lives in Wayzata, when I found this article! Thank you! ?

  2. Helen Chase Millett

    Nokohaha, Minihaha, Windigo and Wabagoon…all these wonderful names from the great midwest, U.S. and the Native Americans. My grandfather and grandmother were a fun loving couple, full of life, love, meaning, talent who loved all their daughters and their 16 grandchildren and were proud of them all. My first and middle name are my grandmothers before she married Rufus Rand. They met during The Great War, when he was a pilot and she a nurse. My sisters and I have been to Still Pond a few times and the staff is always so happy to hear tales of way back when my mom and her sisters lived there such as roller skating parties in the immense attic! Those were the days~

  3. David Yasmineh

    I was the neighbor of J Levitt Anderson, Rufus’s nephew who died a few years ago at age 91. Levitt’s mother was “Uncle Ruf’s” sister I believe. We lived in the 1898 house that Levitt grew up in while the Rand mansion was being built. I feel as though I was there, having heard many stories from Levitt about the Rand house and the huge cement swimming pool. I’ve spent many moonlit nights walking the dog through the Cargill property, standing down by the pond and gazing up at that beautiful mansion. Alas, we’ve now moved to Excelsior and our old house is being torn down, but the mansion will stand forever.

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