Middle-Of-Nowhere Mansions

Mansions in the Middle of Nowhere

When you picture a fabulously expensive mansion, the kind of luxurious home that costs $10 million dollars or more, you typically don’t visualize that home being located in a place like Big Chippewa Lake, Minnesota. But that is precisely where the gated compound known as Brentwood is located, two hours outside of Minneapolis. The Brentwood features numerous amenities, including a three-tiered screening room, billiards hall equipped with wet bar, master bathroom with a fireside Jacuzzi and 10-spigot shower, guest homes, lushly wooded surroundings, tennis court and boat dock.

It is hard to imagine why someone would put so much money into a property where the surrounding homes are not nearly as extravagant. In fact, the surrounding neighborhood and its lower home values, can often make it difficult to resell the more luxurious property for its true value. The answer for why someone would invest so much money into a luxury home that is like an oasis in a desert is often quite personal.

Your Own World

The family that built the Brentwood compound was a publishing family with deep roots in Minnesota. Creating their own world in a place where their family has deep history was more important to them than surrounding themselves with other, wealthy homes in a stereotypically wealthy community like Beverly Hills, California or Vail, Colorado.

Multiple generations of their family enjoyed this private, homey retreat by a beautiful Minnesota lake, and all of the joy and satisfaction that privacy and solitude within the expanse of nature can bring you. The family only decided to leave this compound when they outgrew it, and its secluded location makes it perfect for anyone who wants their own little world.

The Southways Estate

The Brentwood compound isn’t the only grand mansion located in the middle of nowhere. Another beautiful home, complete with period details and fabulous architectural history, is the Southways Estate. The Southways Estate was built by the Pilsbury family 1918 and was most recently occupied by the family of Minnesota Vikings co-owner James Jundt.

James Jundt attempted to sell this property in December of 2009 in a famous auction, but unfortunately was not able to sell it. It can often be difficult to tempt people without roots to a particular location to invest in expensive property.

The History of a Home

Part of what gives the Southways Estate its lofty price tag is its history and age. Other homes, with similar history behind them, can cost a significant amount of money despite being located in such unassuming locations as Foxburg, Pennsylvania or Door County, Wisconsin.

A restored 1828 home in Foxburg,, Pennsylvania, built by the descendants of George Fox, founder of the Quaker religion, sold for $24 million. In Door County, an eccentric mansion with a charming backstory and a great deal of the mansion’s contents, is worth $23 million. The home, called the Chateau du Luc, comes equipped with antique silver and cutlery, a collection of evening purses and a space in the family mausoleum for a dog.

The Problem With Reselling 

Even with character and backstory, reselling an expensive in a location as remote as Minnesota or Wisconsin, can be quite difficult. A lot of this is related to why the original families built these homes.

The people who built them have roots in the community, and want to live there, so when the home is resold, the people who buy it will also be people who want to remain in their own community. However, the hefty price tag can be off-putting for community residents, making resale difficult.


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