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Summerside store preserves many historical items of sentimental value

The proprietor of Rose Cottage Antiques and Gifts, Rosemary Cantin embraces the recycling movement where everything old is new again.
The proprietor of Rose Cottage Antiques and Gifts, Rosemary Cantin embraces the recycling movement where everything old is new again. - Desiree Anstey

Rosemary Cantin embraces the recycling movement where everything old is new again

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - From a ship captain’s desk with secret compartments dating back to the 1800’s to retracing the steps of a person in an old photograph across the world, a Summerside store is a time capsule of treasures that have been saved from the past.

Rosemary Cantin, the proprietor of Rose Cottage Antiques and Gifts located at 401 Water Street West, said she rarely shops at modern stores and has an appreciation for quality and craftsmanship.

“Even the textiles, the old linens, the quilts, the tablecloths that were handsewn under kerosene lamps are beautiful pieces of history that you just can’t find today, at least not with the same sentiment.” - Rosemary Cantin

Instead, she prefers to save old items from being tossed away and then give them a new lease on life.

“It tugs at my heart when I hear families discarding of items in the attic or in the cupboards when an owner has moved or passed on,” said Cantin, who acknowledged her support of green initiatives to reuse and recycle.

“Longevity out of antique furniture is hard to beat. You don’t end up with pieces that fall apart or come undone. You have a good solid piece whether you paint it and give it a new life that way or genuinely care and continue to use the item in its current form.”

Many customers enjoy spending time in her shop, examining all the treasures as if it were a museum.

“We once had a girl come into the store and purchase an old photograph that had a name written on the back. She went home and started doing research on the picture and traced the person back to California in the United States,” said Cantin.

“She found his relatives or ancestors and sent them the photograph and came back to the store to share the news of what she had discovered by connecting all the dots. It really made my day to hear the old picture had come full circle and found its way home.”

Cantin hopes all her pieces will find a good home and live on.

“I think it is better to find an old item a new home, where someone will genuinely care and continue to use the item than toss it away in the trash forever forgotten and lost in time,” she said.

“Even the textiles, the old linens, the quilts, the tablecloths that were handsewn under kerosene lamps are beautiful pieces of history that you just can’t find today, at least not with the same sentiment.”

Kevin Dugay, from Summerside, has a fresh look at old treasures.

“I’ve always been attracted to antiques for their style and craftsmanship that just isn’t out on the market anymore whether it’s to keep for myself, repurpose or find a home with someone who has the same frame of mind as me,” he said.

“I hate to see some of this cool and interesting stuff just get thrown away – as they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Cantin said it’s nice to see more people appreciating antiques.

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