After 35 years running store, Twin Mountain couple wants to retire
John and Donna Foster, owners of Foster's Crossing, in the gift room, one of many in the Twin Mountain general store, which was once an inn. (DEBRA THORNBLAD)
Now, they're ready to say goodbye to 70-hour weeks and have decided to sell Foster's Crossing.
"We've listened to what people said they wanted and tried to carry it," Donna Foster said.
If they couldn't carry it, they'd try to special order it, the couple said.
The structure the store is in was once the Rosebrook Inn, one of many inns that dotted the White Mountains during the days when the railroad brought people to the mountains. There aren't many left. Wooden structures, most succumbed to fire or neglect years ago.
It survived as an inn longer than most, closing in the 1940s, John Foster said. By that time, cars were replacing passenger trains, and it was becoming unacceptable to dump sewage right into the river, which runs behind the building, he said.
For a couple of years, they operated the hardware and Polaris businesses. Then in 1981 they put in their first cooler and it became a store. They named it "Foster's Crossing," keeping some of the hardware lines and adding more food and gifts.
Up until 2000, their business was also their home. They lived in a first floor wing off the store.
One of the rooms upstairs has been converted to offer seasonal clothing, but the rest is just storage. The inn was open only in the summer and is not insulated. There is no heat and no electricity, except that added by John for lights.
"We've had fun," Donna said. "We've survived gasless summers and snowless winters."
They hope someone will buy it and keep it open, but said some who've looked at it have said they'd tear it down.
Bonnie Moroney, a selectman in Twin Mountain, serves on the planning board with Donna Foster and said she has known the couple since the mid 1970s.
She recalled the Fosters helping establish the local snowmobile club and that they were members of the Chamber of Commerce.
"They were always doing things to build the town up," Moroney said.
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