The Rand mansion’s history is highlighted by historical society.
Rufus R. Rand Jr. was the grandson of Arthur Rand, a mayor of Minneapolis and son of Rufus R. Rand, owner of the Minnegasco Company. Young Rand developed a love of flying. He helped to start the AERO club in college and flew his own planes powered by bicycle chains.
After serving in World War I as a pilot for the Lafayette Escadrille, Rand returned to Minneapolis. He became the first mayor of Wayzata in 1929, purchased property on McGinty Road from the McGinty family and built Still Pond.
The French farm chateaux Rand had seen while serving overseas inspired Still Pond’s design. It cost $400,000 to build ($8 million today) and was 234 feet long with 600,000 cubic feet of space. It featured 14 bedrooms, 13 fireplaces, 16 bathrooms, an imported marble staircase, sunken gardens, fountains, an observatory and a 1.3-million-gallon swimming pond, which was the largest in the U.S. at the time.
The Rands moved out in 1941, and in 1944, John MacMillan Jr. bought it for $150,000 and later converted it into offices for Cargill. When the company built the new corporate headquarters, Still Pond became known as the Lake Office. As the building aged, it became increasingly difficult to maintain, and in 2020, beautiful Still Pond became a memory. The site will remain open green space on the Cargill property.–Jan Cook serves as president of the City of Minnetonka Historical Society. Discover more at minnetonka-history.org.