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.