1700 – 1800
In 1700, brothers Karl Johann and Georg Hastfer pledged the manor to Heinrich Berend von Schulmann. In 1709, Berend von Schulmann died, and the right of pledge of Saku Manor passed to his son, county councillor, and in 1713–1715 also to the head of the Estonian Knighthood, Berend Johann von Schulmann. In 1733, the manor was sold and Adam Johann von Hueck became the new owner.
Adam Johann Hueck (1702–1764)
The manor probably remained in the possession of Adam Johann von Hueck, an influential citizen of Tallinn, for a short time.
The Huecks were not even nobles when they got hold of Saku Manor. It is an ancient family of merchants from Westphalia, of whom there are reports from Lübeck in the early seventeenth century. They could be seen in Tallinn from 1656. In 1816, they received the title of Russian nobility, but they have not been included in the Baltic nobility matricles.
Adam Johann and his wife Anna Christina had four children: three sons and one daughter.
The doors between the Hunting Hall and the Cognac Salon are older than the manor house itself. These doors date from 1730–1764, when the manor was owned by the Hueck family (Adam Johann Hueck).
The peculiar oak door of the cognac salon of Saku Manor, finished with dark lacquer, is surrounded by a Renaissance-style designed frame. Both wings of the door are divided into three panels. The panels and sopraportas each have a painting with a burnt pattern with a different composition.
The door has been cleaned and restored years ago. During the work, the signature ‘J. Hueck’ was discovered on it, which fixes the name of the master. At that time, it was customary to take details from the old building when constructing a new building, and this is probably how these doors got into the manor house.
A similar door is also located in the town house belonging to Huecks at 29 Lai Street, the examination of which proved that both this door and the above-mentioned door of Saku Manor are the work of the same master J. Hueck and date from the end of the eighteenth century. They are accompanied by pattern sample albums.
After the death of A. J. Hueck (1764), the heirs sold the manor to Freiherr Otto Magnus von Rehbinder. The Rehbinder family was one of the richest in the Governorate of Estonia, and in addition to the magnificent Saku Manor on the banks of the Vääna River, they owned several other manors in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden.
Otto Magnus von Rehbinder (1727–1792)
Otto Magnus was a chamberlain and secret adviser to Saxe-Weimar, and in 1787, he received a diploma from the Emperor Joseph II for his services to the court. In 1765, Otto Magnus von Rehbinder, a progressive and extremely rich man who already owned about a dozen manors in Estonia, also bought Saku Manor. Until 1843, the estate together with the neighbouring Saue manor and Jälgimäe manor was in the possession of the Rehbinders.
The story of how the Rehbinders became counts is one of love uniting one Estonian noble family with the rulers of both the German-Roman Empire and the Kingdom of France.
Two great figures in world history are associated with this story: the German-Roman emperor Joseph II (1741–1790) and the French queen Marie Antoinette (1755–1793), who is known to have lost her life during the turbulent times of the French Revolution through guillotine.
Namely, Otto Magnus von Rehbinder’s youngest son, Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder, wanted to marry Countess Geertruid van Nassau La-Lecq (1768–1837), a member of the House of Nassau-Oranje from North Brabant.
Although Otto Magnus von Rehbinder owned the manors of Udriku, Imastu, Polli, Saku, Liigvalla, and Vanamõisa, the suitors considered it not enough and thought that it would be appropriate for the future spouse to have at least the title of Count.
Geertruid was Princess Marie Antoinette’s friend and distant relative. Marie Antoinette, in turn, was the sister of the German-Roman emperor Joseph II. Therefore, in 1787, at the request of his sister, the German-Roman emperor Joseph II
awarded the title of Count to Karl Friedrich’s father, Otto Magnus Rehbinder zu Uddrich (1727–1792), lord of Udriku Manor. Karl Friedrich, the son of Otto Magnus, also became a Count. A happy wedding was held in Lausanne in 1786 and they lived happily ever after.
Otto Magnus von Rehbinder was married twice and had seven children. His first wife was Agneta Helena von Bistram and the second wife was Freifrau Sophie Katharina Dorothea von der Pahlen.
He had two sons with Sophie Katharina Dorothea von der Pahlen:
- Gustav Diedrich von Rehbinder (1756–1826)
- Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder (1764–1841)
To his elder, Gustav Diedrich, his father bequeathed Udriku Manor and to his younger, Karl Friedrich, Saku Manor.
The reign of Count Otto Magnus von Rehbinder in Saku Manor was quite different from that of the previous manor owners. The time of the Rehbinders was the heyday of the manor. Instead of the usual 20 servants, there were 69 of them in Saku. At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the manor complex included 7 stone buildings and 11 wooden buildings.
Gustav Diedrich von Rehbinder owned a total of 14 manors in Estonia: Polli Manor in Kadrina Parish in Virumaa, Udriku Manor, Neeruti Manor, and Lautna, Seira, and Vanamõisa manors in Läänemaa, where Gustav Dietrich von Rehbinder was the first in Estonia to introduce a threshing machine in 1805.
In the 1820s, Paul Eduard von Rehbinder, the grandson of Otto Magnus, had a high-Classicist representative Saku manor house erected, which is one of the most beautiful in Estonia.
Count Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder (10 November 1764 – 18 November 1841)
Count Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder was a Baltic-German landowner of Saku, Saue, Rahula, and Jälgimäe.
Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder was the son of Otto Magnus von Rehbinder (1727–1792), chamberlain and secret counsel of Saxe-Weimar, and Freifrau Sophie Katharina Dorothea von Pahlen (1737–1768).
According to the most common legend, the manor house, which has survived to this day, was commissioned by Count Paul Eduard von Rehbinder between 1825 and 1830, and the architect is believed to have been Carlo Rossi. However, this date cannot be considered correct, as the price of the manor has practically not changed between 1820 and 1845 – in both cases, it is a little over 90,000 silver roubles. However, such a building cost at least 35,000 silver roubles at that time. Thus, the mansion had to be completed before 1820. It is more likely that the building was ordered by Count
Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder (date of death 18 November 1841; buried in the churchyard of Keila), who could not be inferior to his older brother, Count Gustav Dietrich von Rehbinder, in terms of his place of residence. The latter had built his home as a small palace in Udriku. Karl Friedrich’s wife, the Countess of Nassau and the heiress of Leck’s estates, were also accustomed to a much higher standard of living than provincial manors such as the old-fashioned Saue or Saku, which was considered uninhabitable, could offer at the turn of the century.
The residential building erected in Saku Manor is undoubtedly one of the most successful Classicist buildings in Estonia. This forces us to look for its designer among the most famous architects of Russia at that time. It is possible that it was Giacomo Quarenghi (1744–1817), who arrived in St. Petersburg in 1780 and is also known to be the author of the design of the monument to Admiral Samuel Greigh in Tallinn Cathedral.
Count Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder founded his own brewery in Saku Manor, and many Estonians are probably aware that this is the oldest brewery in Estonia that has consistently operated in one location – Saku Brewery.
Karl Friedrich von Rehbinder was married to Geertruid Françoise Elisabeth van Nassau-La Lecq and they lived happily ever after. They had five children (four sons and one daughter):
- Count Otto Albrecht Friedrich von Rehbinder (14 December 1786 Tallinn – 25 January 1813 Jälgimäe Manor), landlord of Jälgimäe, Saue, and Rahula.
- Count Paul Eduard von Rehbinder (27 January 1794 Saue Manor – 28 April 1870 Tallinn), landlord of Saku, Saue, and Riidaku.
- Count Gustav Konstantin von Rehbinder (14 February 1795 Saue Manor – 12 December 1822 Jälgimäe Manor), Jälgimäe landlord.
- Count Carl Jacob August von Rehbinder (baptised 19 June 1797 at the Saue Manor; died on 22 October 1799).
- Countess Karoline Luise von Rehbinder (16 February 1802 Saue Manor – March 1877), married Count Carl Theodor von Manteuffelel (1798–1868) and later Julius Johan Fehst (died in 1866).
The man, described by the people as the ‘dreaded count’, also founded a small brewery.
Paul Eduard Rehbinder got the manor in 1820 from his father, Count Karl Friedrich Rehbinder (1764–1841), who continued as the landlord of Saue Manor.
The Rehbinders owned Saku Manor and the manor lands for almost 80 years (1765–1843), but their extravagant way of life forced them to sell the estates in Saku to Rudolf von Patkul in 1843. The latter kept the manor as an investment for 7 years and then sold it with a large profit in 1850 to Carl von Baggehufwudt, whose successor Valerio was the last landlord of Saku Manor.