The Edward Lowe Foundation’s heritage revolves around entrepreneurship and land stewardship. 
Info Center Facts Sheet History of Ed Lowe

Dan Wyant, Chairman and President

Ed Lowe, who pioneered a brand new industry with Kitty Litter,  believed that entrepreneurship was vital to a robust U.S. economy. He and his wife, Darlene, launched the foundation in 1985 to provide resources for growth entrepreneurs — and raise awareness of entrepreneurs’ contributions to society. Ed also had a great love and respect for the land and developed a unique place that he wanted to share with others: Big Rock Valley (BRV), the 2,000-acre property in southwest Michigan that serves as our headquarters.

The foundation preserves its heritage through a variety of tools and resources, including websites, multimedia productions, exhibits and publications. For many years we maintained our own archives, some 500 linear feet of business records, moving images, sound recordings and photographs. In 2015 we transferred a major portion of the  archives to the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, where they can be leveraged with Hagley’s larger collection of  entrepreneurial records and more easily accessed by researchers. Some artifacts have been retained by the foundation and are on display at our Information Center and in other buildings at BRV.

Information Center

The Edward Lowe Foundation Information Center houses a historical exhibit of Ed Lowe’s business ventures and initiatives to support entrepreneurship.

This mini museum gives visitors a quick look at Ed’s entrepreneurial journey, with a special focus on his business ventures in or near Cass County. Within the center’s exhibits, visitors will find videos, print materials, historical photographs and artifacts related to Lowe’s life. For example, a display of marketing campaigns features advertisements, packaging and product displays that date back to the 1940s — many of which were cutting-edge for their time.

Located at the foundation’s entrance at 58220 Decatur Road in Cassopolis, Michigan, the Information Center is open to the public on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except holidays). For more information, call 269-445-4200 or contact  Chris Ryback.

Memorial Walk

Located at Big Rock Valley, the foundation has created a memorial walk to remember and honor individuals who have been important in the history of our organization — and the lives of our founders, Ed and Darlene Lowe. This includes not only family members and foundation employees but also past employees from the many businesses that Ed Lowe operated, including Lowe’s Sawdust Co., Lowe’s Inc., Big Rock Valley Farms and Edward Lowe Industries Inc.

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After his Navy duty, Ed Lowe returned to Cassopolis, Michigan and joined his father’s company, which sold industrial absorbents, including sawdust and an absorbent clay called fuller’s earth. In 1947 Ed was approached by a neighbor who was tired of using ashes in her cat’s litter box and the resulting sooty paw prints. She asked for some sand, but Ed suggested clay instead. Soon the neighbor would use nothing else, noting that the clay was much more absorbent than sand and didn’t track all over the house.

After creating a billion-dollar industry that established the cat as the nation’s most popular pet, Edward Lowe set his creative sights on another goal — fostering and nurturing the American entrepreneur. As a result, Ed committed a good part of his fortune to create “… a whole campus for entrepreneurs” at a private 2,500-acre complex outside his boyhood hometown of Cassopolis, Michigan. In 1991 he donated this estate for the headquarters of the Edward Lowe Foundation.