The following information was submitted in June of 2006 by Paul Malo:
When about seventeen years old, Sanford Thayer gained employment at a wagon shop in Skaneateles, New York, where he joined artist Charles Elliot painting backs of sleighs. Elliot painted a celebrated portrait of Thayer which was shown internatonally, advancing Elliot's reputation. Thayer, a pupil of Elliot, gained his own reputation in Central New York for his portraits and, more widely, for his Adirondack scenes.
Source: George Knapp Collins, Spafford, Onondaga County, New York. Syracuse, NY, Onondaga Historical Association, 1917 (page 108).