“It gets a lot of traffic, so people have missed it,” Adairsville City Manager Pat Crook said. “We have a lot of people that come here and walk around downtown from Barnsley [Gardens Resort]. We have people that stop off the interstate. We have folks that just like going to small towns and walking around and they come and the depot’s been closed. So it is a huge deal for the downtown businesses to have the depot open again.”
For their contributions, the Sans Souci Club will receive $1,000 per month, which will help the group fund an annual college scholarship for an Adairsville student.
“It’s a great fundraiser for us because we have struggled over the years having fundraisers, maybe raising a few hundred dollars here and there,” said Linda Bass, third vice president for the Sans Souci Club. “And, of course, we have our own building, which we have to maintain and pay insurance on and things like that, so there are times when our treasury is quite sparse in funds. So the opportunity came available for us to do this and to make a little money on it.
“Part of our existence is to serve the community, and one of the things that we have done now for probably close to 15, maybe even 18 years, we have given an annual scholarship to a graduating senior from Adairsville High School. With these funds, we may be able to either give a larger scholarship or give more than one. ... By having that much money in our account, we can do a little more with scholarships and other needs within the community,” she said, adding along with staffing the welcome center and museum, the Sans Souci Club also is encouraging residents to donate old photographs of Adairsville for a future display.
Delighted to see the welcome center and museum reopen, Regina Wheeler — deputy director for the Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau — recently helped train 25 Sans Souci members.
“Adairsville is a very historic town,” Wheeler said. “... A lot of the homes have the National Register historic marker designation that goes with all of the city of Adairsville and you can see that when you drive through. But without that person there [at the welcome center] to talk to, you might not have good direction as to exactly where to go, where to begin. So a welcome center is that beginning, that introduction, if you will, that welcome to Adairsville. So we’re really honored and pleased that community activists and volunteers there have stepped up and are going to be doing this there at the Adairsville Welcome Center.
“.... The members of the [Sans Souci] Club are very well-versed in Adairsville history. Many of them served back in the late ’80s to compile a lot of the history and were responsible for the town being designated to the National Register of Historic Places. So this has been a very active group, [which] was founded in 1914. Oddly enough, the name Sans Souci means without care. It’s a very funny name because there couldn’t be a more caring group in the city of Adairsville. They really are [a great resource]. They’re very knowledgeable, very hospitable. Visitors that come to that center are going to be treated with true Southern hospitality and that makes us very pleased. It really helps us when we are marketing Adairsville to know that they are in such hands. We could not be happier about the situation.”