New Endowment Established : Herman Lunden Memorial Fund



Herman Lunden Memorial Fund


On a rainy day in 2013 while paying a visit to the Pigeon River Country headquarters, John Lunden had a dream to honor his grandfather, Herman Lunden. In the early 1900’s Herman was involved with the lumber business in Northern Michigan and was active in the conservation of natural resources, reforestation, fire prevention, and other things that were close to his heart.

The Gaylord area was always an integral part of the life of Herman Lunden. He was involved with the start of Gaylord businesses such as the Gaylord Lumber Company and the Gaylord State Bank, he even had a personalized Gaylord automobile.  Herman also championed organizations to further the education of the children through 4-H clubs and the Otsego County Fair.

John’s dream grew from placing an information panel at the PRC headquarters to working with the Pigeon River Country Association and the Michigan DNR to remodel a vacant old log home into an educational center. John, his wife Pat and their children John, Susan and Jim along with John’s cousin, author Herman Miller, decided they would like to finance a large part of the project.

This idea may have also been just a dream without the volunteer support, at many levels, of the members of the PRCA and the people of the City of Vanderbilt and of Gaylord where Herman Lunden lived for many years.  So many people along the way have raised their hands and said, “I can do this, I can give this, I can help somehow, I want to see this center grow into a real asset for the area, really the whole Up North community”.   It seems it’s time is now.

The Herman Lunden Memorial Fund is a great example of the Otsego County Community Foundation ability to manage endowments according to donors wishes that  benefit the community forever and help create personal legacies.  Thanks to the generosity of the Lunden family, generations upon generations will be able to visit the Pigeon River Discovery Center, gain a better understanding of our local history and strong conservation roots.

The mission of the Otsego County Community Foundation is to enhance the quality of life by building endowments, convening leaders and awarding grants.  To learn more about giving to an existing endowment or creating a new endowment fund call 731-0597 or go to