Rather than make our “About Us” page the typical website fare, and because if you’ve already navigated the site you have a good handle on what we do, let’s take a look at how Douglas went from suburban brat to a lover of the outdoors and a connoisseur of working with dirt, wood and rocks.
Labeled by some a “math prodigy”, Douglas left college in search of rural life. He yearned to work on a farm and learn as much about real life as possible. In his early twenties he met Oregon woods legend Tony Varga, who became his mentor. He taught him how to operate a chainsaw, make cedar fence posts from river logjams, milk goats, and so much more. Douglas ended up working on a dairy, milking 100+ cows twice a day, growing corn, and cutting and baling hay.
His next stop was Maine, working on another dairy while fashioning a 5-acre homestead from the rugged countryside. By now he had gained valuable experience driving tractors and heavy equipment, building barns and cutting firewood.
The next chapters of his experience included clearing a 10-acre home site he owned in rural North Carolina, rebuilding homes in the US Virgin Islands after Hurricane Hugo, then being part of a construction crew of a new Jersey golf course.
It was NJ where he met the love of his life Joyce, and they’ve been happily together over 27 years. They bought a home Swainton, where Douglas immersed himself in transforming an ordinary property into a work of art. The Jewell’s also bought a 19-acre woods parcel in West Virginia, where they built a log vacation home after clearing half of the land. They followed that by building a half mile of roads and a one-acre pond complete with a 30-foot high dam.
Douglas bought a new skid steer in 2005 (thanks, Joyce!) and that has been an integral part of his repertoire ever since. It lets one man do the work of four. It has allowed him to complete so many projects in both Swainton and West Virginia, plus many jobs as a contractor in Cape May County for homeowners and businesses.