The Second Pioneer Store 1
1997
Pat Williams, Omokoroa
Acrylic on panels 20 sq m

This mural recreates the interior of the Pioneer Store as it stood beside the Uretara River Landing in the first decade of the twentieth century. Pat Williams, who also painted 'A Pioneer Kitchen, took great pains to ensure details of the mural were authentic, even to the labels on the tins and jars.

Noble Johnston, son of one of Katikati’s first European settlers, owned and ran the store with his wife Margaret, from 1886 to 1910.

He sold ironmongery, saddlery, groceries and clothing, as well as running butchery and bakery shops. They traded kauri gum dug up by settlers. Noble Johnston’s daughter, Mrs Rita Hume, aged 96 when the mural was painted, immediately recognised herself as a little girl in the shop and also thought she recognised some of the other people in the mural. The artist used Mrs Hume’s description of the layout of the interior, including the old medicine cupboard and the place where precious items such as silver were kept.

The Second Pioneer Store 2
1999
Pat Williams, Omokoroa
Acrylic on panels 20 sq m

The double perspective – exterior on the left hand side and interior on the right – is united by the woman shopper entering the store. The exterior view, with horse and cart and family members posing in front of the store is copied from a 1907 photograph and was completed and dedicated in 1998. Goods were taken to isolated timber mills by a string of sturdy packhorses owned by Noble Johnstone. Margaret drove a horse and gig to Waihi each month to do the banking. It was, indeed, at the heart of Katikati. The pioneer-style wooden verandah with corrugated iron roof and wooden poles complete with a hitching rail of the period add extra authenticity.