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Clovers, especially the four-leaved kind, are supposed to be harbingers of good luck, and Ardmore, Oklahoma sure could use that luck sometimes.

The town that now has a population of nearly 25,000 people started in 1887 with a plowed ditch that served as its Main Street. Around this same time, the Sante Fe Railroad was built nearby and helped the city flourish. However, just eight years after it was founded, a fire destroyed most of the town.

Nonetheless, that fire didn’t keep the good folks of Ardmore down. By the early 1900s, the town was rebuilt and its luck seemed to change as its abundantly prolific cotton fields made it the world’s largest inland cotton port. Growing all of that cotton, however, took its toll on the land and it soon became too infertile to grow cotton. Yet, as luck would have it, Ardmore found itself fortunately positioned next to the Healdton Oil Field, the largest oil-producing field ever discovered in Oklahoma. It has remained an energy center ever since.

Still, with all of that fortune coming its way, fate seems to keep a certain yin-yang balance of luck when it comes to the town of Ardmore. In 1915, much of the town that was rebuilt after the 1895 disaster was once again destroyed by fire when a railroad car full of natural gas exploded. Forty-five people were also killed that day.

Save for the 1966 plane crash that killed 83 people (the worst plane crash in Oklahoma history) and a 1995 tornado that luckily killed no one despite nearly destroying the town’s Michelin tire plant, the town has seen a relatively better share of good luck up until now.

Nevertheless, once again, with all the good luck Ardmore has had, surely a little bad luck must come as well … and this bad luck is no better exemplified than by one Ardmore establishment in particular – the Cloverleaf Boutique.

Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover

The Cloverleaf Boutique (simply known as “the Cloverleaf”) has been described as one of those places that you just can’t pass by. The boutique sits near the southwest part of the eponymous State Route 199/US 70/I-35 cloverleaf, itself located just west of town.

Originally a bar called the Cloverleaf Club, self-confessed “junker” Heidi Chapman bought the place in 1999, kept the name, and opened a retail shop featuring boutique clothes, jewelry, home décor, and gag gifts.

Soon after opening, the Cloverleaf became both a destination stop and roadside attraction for road trippers into kitsch, many first lured in by  its quirky castle-like appearance,  bright neon colors, and  outdoor decor featuring  everything  from old carnival rides to dozens of bicycles in all the colors of the rainbow. The shop thrived for nearly 20 years, with Chapman reportedly selling over $1 million worth of junk annually.

However, remember that this is Ardmore, OK that we’re talking about, and even with the shop looking over the nearby four-leaf clover.

She hung on because (according to a June 30, 2020, Facebook post), “our billboards were still up and visible on I-35 until April 2020.” However, when COVID-19 came in 2020, it seems the doors of the Cloverleaf closed forever. As a result, she began selling parts of the store off, starting with two large warehouses full of merchandise, leaving only what she called “a hodge-podge of stuff that does not resemble what our store once was.” It was opened by appointment only afterwards.

These days, Google marks the store as “Temporarily Closed,” but the farther we move away from that last Facebook post in June 2020, the more likely that it seems to be moving closer to “Permanently Closed.” 

That being said, we’re unsure about the fate of the Cloverleaf, and all we can do at this point is wish Heidi and her quirky roadside stop the best of luck.

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