“Dream a little”
"Random" is one of the last remaining summer estates built prior to the turn-of-the-century by leading Twin Cities families. As railroads and steamboats made the countyside along the Mississippi River easily accessible, wealthy industrialists sought an escape from the heat and noise of the rapidly growing city. "Random" was built by Rufus Rand, Sr., owner of the Minneapolis Gas & Light Company, as a present to his bride, Susan Mealey. Completed in 1884, the house was designed in the then-fashionable Queen Anne style by Mrs. Rand, the daughter of a state senator, whose home was located across Territorial Road. The prominent 3.5 acre hilltop site overlooking Monticello ("Italian for 'little mountain', named after Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home) was a gift from the bride's parents. The young couple was married here in October of 1884, then left on their honeymoon in the luxurious private railcar of James J. Hill, 'The Empire Builder." The estate's grounds featured an arboretum, Minnesota's first outdoor swimming pool, and extensive flower gardens and a lilac hedge surrounding the property. The estate was used continuously as a summer and weekend retreat by the Rand family for more than 60 years. During WWII, the house and grounds were loaned to the U.S. Army Air Corps for use as officers' quarters for pilots receiving glider training in the area, who later participated in the invasions of Sicily and Normandy on D-Day. "Random" was acquired and totally renovated by the present owners in the early 1990s. The Historic Rand House is a very special place--nearby yet so far away in time and space. A secluded place to relax. To escape.
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The Rand House Bed and Breakfast
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