9. Film History in Haverstraw

Film still of Babe Ruth in the movie Headin’ Home

Adolph Zukor, the owner of Paramount Pictures once had an estate near Haverstraw in Clarkstown. He also owned the local country club. In the summer of 1920, Babe Ruth filmed the silent movie Headin’ Home primarily at Markham Field, a stadium used by the Haverstraw farm team.

As described by Jared Rodriguez of Haverstraw Life:

A local legend is still told today, that Ruth, during filming of a scene, hit a home run ball out and over Saint Peter’s  [Church]. The story has been passed down among generations of Haverstrawans since that day in 1920, as many locals were present for the filming of the scene. If the legend holds true, it is said that this home run would be one of the longest range home runs in baseball history. It is easy to understand this when visiting Babe Ruth Field in Havestraw. Stand on the home plate (which is not the original place of Ruth’s home plate, as the field was shifted since 1920; the spot is very close to original, though) and gaze across the field to the spire of Saint Peter’s. The distance is unimaginable for a home run ball. If it could be proven that the Babe hit this ball, this dusty field in Haverstraw could become an integral part of baseball history.

The hills around Haverstraw were also a hotspot for the country homes of many film stars including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks.