Christopher Shearer (1846-1926) was a noted local artist who lived in Tuckerton and painted many local scenes in Bern Township from the 1870s to the 1920s.

The painting shown below is a stream in a rural wooded setting, by Christopher Shearer, dated autumn of1886. Is this the painting mentioned by Becky of her nine-year-old brother Adam at the corn mill? Probably not, but it would likely have looked something like this. There is even a mill on the stream. Certainly, the style of that painting (and many of Shearer's paintings) would have been similar to this one. Shearer often painted landscapes, many of them near his home in Tuckerton not 2 miles from James Rickenbach's farmland. Shearer lived on the Bern Township side of Stoudt’s Ferry Bridge in his later years. He donated a painting called “The Holy Sepulchre” to Hinnershitz Church in 1914. His prot(c)g(c), Mary Leisz, studied under Shearer. She developed a similar style, which can be seen in a painting of a gypsy encampment in Oley Township.

 

Below is another Shearer painting. The date and subject are unknown. But the shallow sloping banks of this river look very much like the frozen Duncan canal bed in wintertime (with a little imagination...). It is likely Shearer used the Duncan canal region on James Rickenbach's farmland as subjects in his paintings, as suggested by Becky. Heck, this might have been the view looking south along Cross Keys Road, with the canal on the left.