The Drumthwacket Foundation curates exhibits in the residence that showcase New Jersey related historic and contemporary visual art and thematic shows.


Highlights from the Drumthwacket Foundation Collection

Tour the historic residence and learn about the Foundation’s collection of 18th and 19th century furniture in addition to paintings on loan from New Jersey museums and the stunning Sterling Silver Service Set made by Tiffany & Co. for the commissioning of the battleship USS New Jersey in 1906 for use in the wardroom.

Simon Douglas: Blacksmith Tools

Collection on generous loan from the African American Heritage Museum, Atlantic City

Simon Douglas Outside Blacksmith Shop

Simon Douglas with presumably his son outside his blacksmith shop in Fairview, NJ.

Born into slavery on a South Carolina plantation in 1843, Simon Douglas served as a body servant to his master (or master’s son) in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He escaped the Confederacy as a bummer (forager) and blacksmith in the Union Army during Major General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea and the Carolinas Campaign. In 1866 at the age of 23, Mr. Douglas arrived in Fairview, New Jersey where he settled, raised a family and worked as a blacksmith for 70 years until total blindness forced his retirement. According to a former neighbor and friend, Simon rarely talked about his early years but he loved to discuss horses and proudly said that he was the first African American to cast a vote in Bergen county. During his lifetime, Mr. Douglas witnessed the end of slavery, the era of Reconstruction and Jim Crow laws in his native state and lived long enough to witness the early Civil Rights Movement. He died on March 9, 1950 at the advanced age of 107. Although he never officially mustered, he lived to be the last surviving Civil War soldier in New Jersey.

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