‘Past Down In Time’ finds home on Main Street

‘Past Down In Time’ finds home on Main Street

Cindy Thibodeau is the owner of Past Down In Time, a new antiques store opening in the historic Liberty Building at 154 Main St. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)

WOONSOCKET – Woonsocket’s Main Street is quickly becoming a new destination for antiques, with a new antique store set to open at 154 Main St. next month.

Past Down In Time, owned by city resident Cindy Thibodeau, will mark the third antique store in the downtown area. Thibodeau said she hopes to offer a variety of antiques and gift items in her store and wants visitors to feel like they’re “stepping back in time.”

“There’s a story that goes behind a piece of antique, no matter how old it is. That’s kind of my goal is to get people to look at antiques differently,” she said.

Thibodeau, a native of Missouri, said she’s loved antiques since she was a little girl. Her grandparents, she said, were the first ones to teach her how to care for older items, an interest that continued through generations of her family.

“My parents used to drag me out when I was a young girl to antiques stores and archives and libraries,” she said.

The story of how she came to open her own store is one that’s been told by many new business owners over the past year. Thibodeau was working as an administrative manager for LeachGarner, a precious metals supplier in Attleboro, when they eliminated her position in January as a result of cost cutting measures during the pandemic.

At the same time, she was planning a trip back to Missouri to sort through the collection of an uncle who passed away in October. Her uncle, she said, was an avid collector of Civil War items and other antiques, and she inherited his collection along with those of her parents and grandparents.

Those items, she said, will now form the basis of the initial offerings in her store.

“I definitely took that leap of faith and just went for it,” she said.

Though it’s her first time running her own store, Thibodeau is no stranger to the antiques business. A certified professional genealogist, she previously worked as a researcher for the New England Historic Genealogical Society and enjoys investigating the history behind her own antique items. Her hope, she said, is to be able to pair the items in her shop with the stories behind them.

“People want to know stories. They want to know, ‘Where did this come from? Whose hands have held this item?’” she said.

In addition to antiques, she said, she plans to offer primitive wooden signs and other craft items from local vendors.

As for the location, Thibodeau said she’s glad to be part of a growing community of antiques dealers on Main Street. Though she originally had her heart set on a mill location, she said, the storefront in the historic Liberty Building felt right as soon as she walked in.

“It’s a gorgeous downtown area. There’s so much that Woonsocket has to offer,” she said.

Thibodeau received her city license for her store last week and is targeting May 15 for the official opening. The store, she said, will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. More information is available at www.pastdownintime.com .