The History of Foster Brady Farm – Estd 1860

Clay & Folks at Farm Sign
2013 Conservationist of the Year

The original purchase of land that is now Foster-Brady Farm was made on March 17, 1860 by James Holmes McGaughey. 125 acres of the purchase was given to his daughter, Sema McGaughey, and her husband, Samuel Green Foster, on December 17, 1885.

Samuel and Sema had built a two room house on the land in 1879. All six of their children were born there. As the family grew…so did the house. Eventually the house contained 4 bedrooms, a parlor, a dining room, kitchen, and an inside bathroom. The house had 6 fireplaces. All of the cooking was done on a wood stove. As new conveniences came along, they were added to the house. One of the first Delco battery systems used to provide lights was installed in the house. A hand dug well just outside the back door provided fresh water for the home.

Sema passed away in 1896. Sam continued farming and raising his 6 children. The youngest brother was 3. The two daughters, Mae and Estelle were 16 and 14. They devoted themselves to the struggle and love of helping to raise the family. The two sisters never married. One of the brothers, Edward, never married and continued farming the land long after his father’s death.

On February 15, 1944, Edward purchased 1/6 of the land left by his father from each of his siblings. This gave him sole ownership of the property. He and his two sisters continued to farm and raise corn, cotton, wheat and other cash crops. They also had cows, pigs, and chickens. Edward sold eggs, butter, and pork. “Hog killing” was a fall tradition until around 1973.

In 1966, Edward, gave a parcel of the land to his nephew, Dan Green Foster and his wife Dollie, to build a house. In 1984 Edward died and left the property to his nephew, Dan. Dan passed away in 2009 and left the entire farm to his two daughters, Sara Ann Foster Kimbrough and Cheryl Raye Foster Brady.

Dan Foster received the “Conservationist of the Year” award in 2001. The farm was given the Georgia Centennial Family Farm Award in 2003. In 2013, Foster-Brady Farm was again awarded “Conservationist of the Year” in Walton County. It continues to be a working farm with leased pasture land for cattle, timber, wildlife plots, pollinator habitats, and a produce business.

Grandpa Foster with Centennial Family Farm Award
Grandpa Foster with the Centennial Family Farm Award

The village was started in 1988. It includes a home place, well shelter, barn, wagon shelter, out house, blacksmith shop, smoke house, corn crib(original), church, and country store. These buildings are actually used today in the farming as well as weddings at the church and photo opps for engagement pictures, proms, graduations, music CDs, and family pictures.

The produce business began as a part time endeavor in 2009. In 2011, Cheryl and Hal Brady’s son, Clay, began growing produce full time. It was this year that the well was dug and the micro-irrigation system was installed. He has since added three hoop houses. Clay sells produce to restaurants, small markets, and the Monroe Farmers Market.