My wife and I moved to Rogers, MN in 2020 just before COVID-19 hit and homes began going on the market for crazy prices.

As we familiarized ourselves with the area, we discovered a private property in nearby Otsego that struck me as one of the most majestic homes I'd ever seen. Located on River Road NE (or County Highway 42), it sits atop an immaculately-kept lawn at the end of a gated driveaway. A private lake/pond can be seen to the left of the driveway and a private tennis court on the right. When viewing from Google Maps, an outdoor pool sits out front of the house and the Mississippi and Crow Rivers intersect just behind. It's truly a stunning piece of property.

Google Maps

Curious to know who owns it, I turned to the all-knowing internet. Turns out, it's a lot harder to find the owner than I would have guess; instead, the property only seems to be surrounded in mystery and rumor. According to a 2013 tweet from the account Minnesota Mansions, the home belongs to (or at least did at that time) singer/songwriter Kenny Rogers.

That claim has been hotly contested, however.

"That does not belong to Kenny Rogers," said one in the tweet's comments section. "That is just a rumor. The last name of Talbot is engraved near the front gate."

"Definitely not his," agreed another.

Sure enough, the name "Talbot" can be see engraved in the stonework at the front gate, though the name Talbot, too, remains a mystery.

Google Maps

"John Talbot - current owner (Rumor: Kenny Rogers built home)" commented one person at Wikimapia.org in 2013.

"The man that lives there is Jim Talbot, not John," countered another. "And he built the house."

"OMG, can't believe the misinformation," said Diane T at ActiveRain.com. "The house was built by James Talbot. He lives there to this day. Local businessman. Not Kenny or the Talbots of the clothing store chain."

A Google search for James Talbot shows various results with no clear indication of which one may own or have previously owned the property. According to Realtor.com, the property contains 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and covers 19,206 square feet on a 707 acre lot. It was last sold for $362,882 in 2018 and -- at least as recently as 2020 -- had an estimated value of $1,907,800. Homes.com listed the estimated value as $2,283,720. As of August 2021, the mansion is no longer listed as For Sale. The rumors and mystery, however, remain.

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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