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Descendants of Mamaroneck Man Bring History Alive

MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Tony Venezio's head turned with everyone else's as a man in a psuedo-powdered wig and 16th century garb entered the Mamaroneck Library's program room.

"Hello, I am Caleb Heathcote," said Mark Heathcote, who dressed like his illustrious ancestor to give residents an idea of what life was like in Colonial America.

Caleb Heathcote was Lord of the Manor of Scarsdale, which used to encompass Mamaroneck. He arrived in New York in 1692 and became mayor of New York in 1711. A mural of him being sworn in as mayor hangs in the library's reading room.

Venezio lives on the border of Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, which he said, made the program especially interesting for him.

"You live in a place that you never know the history, so this was quite insightful," said Venezio, whose children attend Scarsdale schools.

Mark, of England, was introduced by his sister, Joanna, who told those attending the 6 p.m. program Saturday their family's story in Mamaroneck, which began when Caleb's fiance left him for his older brother Gilbert, prompting his move to America.

Within a year of his move, he was named a member of the Governor's Council, which ran the colony. He made large purchases of land, including modern day Scarsdale, Mamaroneck and Harrison. He built his home on what has come to be known as Heathcote Hill, and is located a few blocks away from the Mamaroneck Library.

Caleb was one of the richest men in America when he died of a stroke in 1721. He introduced refuse collection to New York, Joanna said.

The Friends of the Mamaroneck Library sponsored the event.

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