A careful researcher of the historic scenes depicted in his paintings, Norris created this scene from Tompkins County’s entry in the 1879 Four Counties History. In this recounting of an early county entrepreneur, Mr. Lightfoot is described as a trader who traveled up Cayuga Lake and built a shanty near the old steamboat landing in 1791. His small inventory included a chest of tea, sack of coffee, some pottery and cutlery, gunpowder and lead, and one or two barrels of whiskey. He exchanged his goods for animal pelts, and continued his business for about ten years. With a close attention to detail in the spirit of historical accuracy, this piece is marked by exacting brushwork that gives the scene a tableau effect
Mr. Lightfood offered goods for sale in a shanty he erected near the old 'steam boat landing.' The stock consisted of a chest of tar, sack of coffee, some crockery and earthenware, a few dry goods, a little hardware and cutlery, gunpowder, lead, and a barrel or two of whiskey. This last item, nearly equal in bulk to all the rest of his stock, found ready sale. He exchanged his wears for peltry. His business continued for ten to twelve years. With close attention to details in the spirit of historic accuracy, this piece is marked by exacting brush work that gives the scene a tableau effect. Dominated by a palette of greens, the work is almost given a murky effect. 32 ½’ X 26’.