Mary Mazzacano was a Columbia County Irish-German girl who married into an Italian-American family from Long Island. The Mazzacanos owned a farm on Middle Road near Olana, and were part of a thriving Italian-American community in the area. As a child, Mazzacano and her friends sled down the gently sloping hill at Olana in winter until they were chased away. As a young woman, she was active in the local Republican party, and ran the Apple Blossom Festival. At the request of Sam Aldrich’s campaign manager, Lou Pierro, Mazzacano collected signatures from Olana’s neighbors to gauge local support for saving Olana. She was then recruited by Aldrich and Huntington to organize volunteers for leading tours around the villa. She went on to manage the Republican party district office in Hudson and then to work in Albany for the Assembly.