Dorset Event

DHS: Third Thursday Lunch Lecture

May 18 2023 - May 18 2023 • Time: Noon - 1pm Education & History

Third Thursday Lunch Lecture

Silas Lapham Griffith

Dorset Historical Society

Thursday, May 18 from noon -1pm

The Dorset Historical Society’s Third-Thursday Lunch-Lecture on May 18 will feature Bradley Bender, Mt. Tabor-Danby Historical Society President. Bradley will discuss Silas Lapham Griffith.

Silas Lapham Griffith, affectionately known as The Santa Claus Bandit, became Vermont’s first millionaire through his industrious lumber and charcoal operations.  Ann K. Rothman, the late Dutchess of Danby became fascinated with the town’s benefactor at age 55 when she purchased an old farm in Danby and began romancing a native son who recorded hours and hours of fascinating oral history with her regarding Griffith’s operations.  Rothman was a talented interior decorator and writer from Long Island who founded the Mt. Tabor-Danby Historical Society and became the owner of several historic buildings on Main Street including Silas Griffith’s 1864 “Skyscraper” department store. Rothman’s 20 year obsession with exhaustive Griffith research resulted in several unpublished manuscripts about him and finally the publication in 2022 of Silas Lapham Griffith The Santa Claus Bandit: Vermont’s First Millionaire, through the financial and organizational efforts of Robert Tobin and Tim Cameron.

Bradley will speak about this new biography of Griffith, his connection to a world-famous Dorset native son, Rothman’s background, and his collaboration with her on Griffith research.

DHS’s TTLLs begin at noon and last about an hour. Attendees are invited to bring some lunch; desserts and drinks will be provided. The event is free, open to all and handicapped accessible. The Dorset Historical Society’s Bley House Museum is located on Route 30 at Kent Hill Road. For more information, see or call (802) 867-0331.


Dorset Historical Society’s Bley House Museum