About The Show
Every day thousands of motorists pass by countless history markers and say to themselves, "one of these days I'm going to stop and read that."
Well, that day has arrived...
On Drive By History (now in its second season, debuting spring 2017), our hosts Ken Magos and Cindy Perman not only stop and read those signs, but also delve deeper into the history (with the help of staff historian Anthony Bernard) , uncovering rare details about these unique locations, individuals, and local events.
What will you see?
From the crossroads of the American Revolution and the birthplace of the motion picture industry, to the Garden State’s connection to the Hamilton/Burr Duel and Gustav Stickley/Craftsman Furniture—we stumble upon the forgotten stories just waiting to be rediscovered in our own backyards.
Whether history fan or travel buff, sports enthusiast or film fanatic, this show promises something for everyone.
Season 1 Episodes
Season 2 Episodes
Episode 2.01: Dinosaurs in NJ? (Haddonfield, Trenton) & Cobble Close Farm (Red Bank)
Did you know that the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton found in the US and Benjamin Franklin have a direct connection? Our investigation into the Haddonfield discovery leads us to the state's Natural History Museum and a "dig" through the archives. Then learn about efforts by the WPA—and some famous and wealthy citizens—in support of artists during the Great Depression.
Episode 2.02: The Morris Canal (Waterloo Village, Little Falls, Jersey City)
For nearly 100 years, the man-made Morris Canal was the primary mode of shipping and transport between Pennsylvania and New York, trekking across New Jersey's varied terrain. Join us as we explore Waterloo Village, an authentic canal town and state park; Little Falls, where reclamation efforts are underway; and Jersey City, where the canal empties into the New York Harbor waterway.
Episode 2.03: The Red Mill (Clinton) & Twin Lights Lighthouse (Atlantic Highlands)
The Red Mill is famous for more than just its long list of owners and products manufactured; some claim that modern-day visitors roam the site with departed guides. Our hosts embark on a ghost hunt with New Jersey Paranormal to try to uncover more of the building's past. Then we travel down to the Jersey Shore to visit Twin Lights Lighthouse, home to no less than 5 national firsts!
Episode 2.04: Washington's Crossing the Delaware (Washington's Crossing) & The Hamilton/Burr Duel (Weehawken)
Join us as we uncover the true story behind Washington's iconic crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas Night in 1776, and witness a live reenactment outfitted with painstakingly accurate costumes, boats, and weaponry. Then we travel to the shores of the Hudson River to investigate the location made famous by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr more than two centuries ago.
Episode 2.05: The Stickley Legacy (Pompton Plains) & Clara Maass (Belleville)
Mention the name Gustav Stickley and Mission-style furniture comes to mind, but join us as we learn about the traditions that informed the Craftsman lifestyle and ethos, and where the legacy rests today. Then come with us as we learn about the tragic yet altruistic story of Clara Maass, a young nurse whose legacy lives on today.
Episode 2.06: America's Seaside Playground (Atlantic City) & The Ball House (Maplewood)
Our team travels south to Atlantic City to uncover the city's past—first as a health resort, then as a seaside escape from the oppressive conditions in newly-industrialized cities like Philadelphia and New York City, and ultimately as a mecca for pageants, gaming and headliners. Then come with us on a tour of a Maplewood landmark, the Ball House, where George Washington—and his famous white horse!—stayed.
Co-Host and Series Co-Creator
Ken brings his more than 30 years’ experience as a performer, director, and producer in his multiple roles on this new project. His own performance career spans film, television, and principal roles on stage in both opera and musical theater throughout the US and abroad.
Following his career as a corporate infrastructure development specialist working with global clients, he now serves as President of South Mountain TheaterWorks and Television Productions, a theatrical and TV production company he created in 2005.
Meet The Cast
On Atlantic City's famed Steel Pier in episode 2.02.
Executive Producer and Co-Creator
Lee is a veteran TV producer with over 25 years of experience. He was honored with a 2007 Daytime Emmy Award for the A&E documentary A Question of Life or Meth. He also received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the New York theater scene in Live from Broadway with Pat Collins.
He has a wide range of lifestyle credits which include mega-popular marquee hits such as Trading Spaces and Entertainment Tonight, as well as niche programs including the culinary delight Reservations Required with Jacqui Malouf, the picture perfect home design show UltraSpace, and the show that became must-see TV for everyone fashionable, Behind the Label. During his tenure at The History Channel, he developed and produced a wide range of historical hits including the widely acclaimed Behind the Scenes: Flags of Our Fathers with Clint Eastwood and the award winning History’s Business.
Where To Watch
Drive By History is available on NJTV, New Jersey's PBS affiliate. The following link lists the broadcast and cable platforms where you can catch upcoming episodes:
We would like to thank the following businesses and foundations whose financial support has made Drive By History possible:
Are you enjoying the series? Do you have a question about a past or current episode? Or maybe you have a local history marker that you think we should investigate?
Let us know -- we welcome your feedback!
Milling in Millburn & The Shore's Grand Hotels
Washington's Conference on Horseback & Artist Asher Durand
Birth of America's Film Industry & The Rose City
Beginning of Baseball & DeMille Gatehouse
Dinosaurs in NJ & Cobble Close Farm
The Morris Canal
Washington's Crossing & Hamilton/Burr Duel
The Stickley Legacy & Clara Maass
Episode 1.01: Milling Around Millburn (Millburn/Short Hills) & The Shore's Grand Hotels (Long Branch)
Discover how more than one 19th century businessman recognized the natural landscape and water cascading down the Short Hills into Millburn could bring tremendous prosperity to this area. Then learn how a single visit from a controversial First Lady of the United States transformed the fortunes of Long Branch on the Jersey Shore for years to come.
Episode 1.02: Washington's Conference on Horseback (Kingston) & Artist Asher Brown Durand (Maplewood)
Discover the momentous developments that happened in the Kingston/South Brunswick area during the Revolutionary War and how their impact is still felt today. Then meet Asher Brown Durand, a world famous artist during the 19th century who was born in Maplewood and nearly lost to history.
Episode 1.03: Seeing Eye Inc. (Morristown) & Tory Corner (West Orange)
Learn how a keen interest in dogs and an impassioned plea from a daring young man sparked an idea that blossomed in Morristown and later changed the lives of millions. Then learn who gathered at Tory Corner in 18th century West Orange. Why were they convinced that Ben Franklin and independence from England would ruin our nation?
Episode 1.04: The Birth of America's Film Industry (Fort Lee) & The Rose City (Madison)
A living snapshot of show business history, explore Fort Lee’s silent film era and visit the one location immortalized on film that remains unchanged from that glamorous time. Then discover a roadside history marker in Madison that reveals a botanical treasure and rare details about a once thriving industry.
Episode 1.05: The Beginning of Baseball (Hoboken) & Cecil B. DeMille Gatehouse (Wayne)
Find out how an historic event in 1846 Hoboken (that probably seemed ordinary at the time) has an extraordinary impact on the lives of sports enthusiasts both then and today. Then peek inside the boyhood home of legendary director Cecil B. DeMille, and find out how his roots in Wayne influenced his historic career.
Episode 1.06: The Caldwell Parsonage & The Battle of Connecticut Farms (Union)
Find out how Hannah Caldwell, a typical wife and mother who lived in Union at the time of the American Revolution, may have shaped the final months of the war. Then join our hosts on a ghost hunt as they partner with New Jersey Paranormal and attempt to contact Hannah’s restless spirit.
Cindy is an editor at CNBC Digital. She has appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, as well as several shows on CNBC and MSNBC.
Her writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, Entrepreneur, The Fiscal Times, NBC.com, CNBC.com and Yahoo.com, among others.
She is the author of the book, New York Curiosities, now in its second edition. She is also a stand-up comic who has performed at several NYC comedy clubs including Comix and Gotham. Follow her on Twitter @cindyperman.
Associate Producer, Coordinator
Daphney received her BA in Communications with a concentration in Television Production from NJ’s Seton Hall University, and now serves as Drive By History's staff Associate Producer and Coordinator, facilitating field production and location/guest clearance.
In addition, she provides ongoing support for additional show pilots and independent projects for SMTWTV.
She has been attached to the project since the pilot in 2013.
To get your very own Discover NJ History license plate -- the proceeds from all sales help sponsor shows like DRIVE BY HISTORY right here in NJ! -- click here or on the image above.
Seeing Eye Inc. & Tory Corner
Caldwell Parsonage & Battle of Connecticut Farms
The Red Mill & Twin Lights Lighthouse
America's Seaside Playground & The Ball House
Members of the "Hoboken Nine" from Episode 1.05
Anthony graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University with a BA in History.
He has appeared in scores of television commercials, and recently hosted a travel program for MSNBC.com entitled Ultimate Getaway, and was featured on Dateline NBC.
As a model, he has appeared in numerous worldwide advertising campaigns for brands such as Levi’s, Nivea, Nine West, Puma, Hanes, Sony and Target.
Kevin is a senior Broadcasting & Visual Media major at Seton Hall University. As a student, Kevin has interned and worked for NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and for CBS News at 60 Minutes and CBS This Morning, in addition to producing his own documentaries.
A history buff himself, Kevin is active with United Railroad Historical Society of NJ and is Vice President of the Tri-State Railway Historical Society. In his spare time, he gets his hands dirty restoring and painting historic railway equipment relevant to New Jersey
Kristin O'Brassill-Kulfan, Ph.D.
Academic Advisor/History Scholar
Kristin is a public historian whose work examines links between class, labor status, race, crime, and punishment in the nineteenth century United States and the presentation of challenging histories to the twenty-first century public.
She specializes in research-oriented archival methodologies, the construction of constituent-based narratives in public forums, and the inclusion of social history themes in bidirectional public history projects.
In her role as Advisor and Scholar to the Drive By History team, she provides behind-the-scenes guidance and insight into topical narratives, and helps bring to light niche histories that are both relevant and previously under-represented.