FOSTERS MILL STEAKHOUSE
John Cunningham Foster lived from 1852 – 1926. He was a Captain in the Civil War. He served as the SundaySchool Superintendent of Cedar Creek Baptist Church for many years. He also served in the Georgia Legislature from 1916-1918. He and his family were prominent members of the Livingston Community.
The history of the Store and Mill, as documented by the “North West Georgia Historical and Genealogical Society”, states the community was known at Thomas’s Mill until the two Foster brothers, John C. and Greene came in and bought the property and kept buying until they owned 1200 acres. The name was then changed to Foster’s Mill. They acquired the Grist Mill and Store, the same store that still stands today. The ruins of the Mill stood until 1967, when it was finally torn down. Pillars of the Mill and Cheese Factory are still visible on the banks of Cedar Creek, as are the piers that supported the old covered bridge over the creek.
The back room of the General Store served as Foster’s Mill Post Office and Mrs. John Foster was the Post Mistress. Stories say the store has also been a bar, a residence and a barber shop over the years.
Goods came down the Coosa River to supply the store. A strong box was found in the Mill and an old ledger was discovered listing prices of items sold in the store in that day as 2 claw hammers for .75 cents, 5 bars of soap for .25 cents, barrel of potatoes for $3.00, shirt and pants for $1.45, pound of coffee for .15 cents.
A beautiful two-story colonial house once stood next to the store facing Blacks Bluff Road and was the Foster’s residence until 1907, when they moved the town. The house served as their summer home for many years. It was eventually torn down in the 1950’s, but the cedar trees and old well still remain.
1835 Courthouse records document the store at Fosters Mill as far back as 1835, originally said to have been situated on the other side of the creek. Stories say it was floated across the creek and dragged by oxen to current location.
1970 Joe Terry purchased the business from the Harbin family. He purchased the building itself in 1995. He and he and his wife Dorothy operated the store until Joe’s health declined. The store was a part of Joe’s entire life, his father used to run the Mill.
1990 The store’s charm has attracted movie makers and it has appeared in scenes of several movies. The most well known was the movie “Dutch” that starred Ed O’Neil (popularly known as Al Bundy from “Married With Children”) and JoBeth Williams (The Big Chill).
1999 A lamp wire ignited a fire inside the store on New Year’s Eve and virtually destroyed it.
2000 A “Save the Store” campaign was started by to fund the reconstruction of the store and thanks to local contributions and volunteer workers, store was rebuilt and reopened.
2001 A rental truck crashed through the side of the store causing extensive damage.
2005 Store closes due to the Joe Terry’s illness. It was reopened temporarily after Joe’s death, but not on a consistent basis.
2012 Ken and Jody Jones purchased the store. It has only been owned by four other families in its 177 year history, the Thomases, the Fosters, the Harbins and the Terrys….and now the Joneses. Ken and Jody hope to breathe some new life into it.
2015 Todd Parris and Brandi Ayers currently own historic Fosters Mill Store which has now only been owned by five other families in its 177 year history, the Thomases, the Fosters, the Harbins, the Terrys, the Joneses.
They currently operate it as Fosters Mill Steakhouse serving the finest Ribeye steaks in Rome.
“…always cooked over hickory, mesquite and cherry woods! No charcoal, no lighter fluids… Ya’ll come see us now, ya hear! God Bless America! ” Established 1835 -Todd Parris & Brandi Ayers