Kentucky Guild members seeking public’s help for missing train cars

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According to the Guild director Jeanette Rowlette, the train ran for six years in the 1960’s in two L&N train cars.

BEREA, Ky (WTVQ)- The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen is known for promoting and preserving art heritage and history in the commonwealth.

But two missing pieces have members asking the public for help.

“Where is our train?” asked KGAC President Preston Sowder.

Members of the KGAC are looking for two train cars they say were a huge part of their beginning.
The guild was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Berea.

“The train is such an important piece,” Sowder said. “It is such a part of the guild. It’s what we started, it’s what we came from. It’s our history, its our heritage. It’s our reason for being, as one might say.”

The KGAC guild train was the nation’s first rolling art train.

According to the Guild director Jeanette Rowlette, the train ran for six years in the 1960’s in two L&N train cars.
The guild used the cars to teach classes and open exhibits as they traveled across the state.

“So when they hung exhibits maybe from New York or some other big place, when they hung them on the walls and they were padded, then they wouldn’t fall off or get damage,” Rowlette said.

The cars haven’t been seen since.

“Every little depot had a spur,” Rowlette said. “So therefore they would leave those two train cars. And they may stay there for a week, two weeks, and school kids came out, the community came out. They showed them better ways of doing a lot of what they were already doing.”

Now made up of more than 200 members, the guild is wanting to continue its legacy.
Just as the traveling train cars helped a young generation find their love of art then, Sowder says he’d love to use the car’s history as a way to help the youth find their passion for crafting now.

“It’s like finding an old nickel, it’s like finding an old antique, or a mini ball out int he yard that was fired during the civil war. We’re missing that piece and we’d like to find it,” Sowder said.

The guild is reaching out to the public for any information it might have in hopes of finding their missing piece of history.

“There out there somewhere. We want to know how our history with that train ended. And how we pick up where we are and keep going,” Rowlette said.

You can reach the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen at 859-986-3192 or through email at kgacinfo@gmail.Com

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