"Random" was built by Rufus Rand, Sr., owner of the Minneapolis Gas Light
Company, as a wedding present to his bride, Susan Mealey. Completed in 1884,
the 30-room house was designed in the then-fashionable Queen Anne
style by Mrs. Rand, the daughter of Minnesota State Senator Tobias Mealey,
whose home was located next door on Old Territorial
Road. The prominent site overlooking Monticello
was a gift to the young couple from the bride's parents.
The estate's grounds featured an arboretum, swimming pool, and extensive
flower gardens, with a quarter-mile long hedge of lilacs ringing its
was used continuously as a summer and weekend retreat by the Rand
family for more than 60 years. During World War II, the house and grounds
were loaned to the Army Air Corps for use as officer's quarters for pilots
receiving glider training in Monticello.
Following the war, the property passed through several hands before being
acquired by Duffy and Merrill Busch in 1986. The house and grounds have since
undergone total renovation, and have been featured frequently in local and
national magazines, newspapers and guides.