Ardmore has proved to be a resilient community with the ability to overcome past adversities. In the late 1800’s with the community on its way to becoming one of the main cities in Oklahoma, disaster struck with a fire that destroyed downtown. Then, in the early 1900’s a deadly explosion destroyed most of the city. The citizens reacted with true Ardmore enthusiasm and quickly rebuilt. Some of these buildings are still standing today and include the train depot, a bank building, and the old courthouse. A history of overcoming obstacles positioned Ardmore to be the prosperous city it is today.
The rich heritage and proud history of Ardmore has been preserved and can be seen with a walk through the downtown area. Many of the historic structures have been preserved and are still in use. A walking tour of the downtown area should include the Carter County Courthouse as well as many Main Street structures that are on the National Registry of Historical Places. Our refurbished brick sidewalks add to the charm of this historic tradition.
The Greater Southwest Historical Museum houses examples of the history of the area, featuring many turn of the century displays. Exhibits detail the area’s history from the mid 1800’s to the present day, telling the story of human settlement in South-Central Oklahoma from Native American history to the farmers, ranchers and townspeople who built strong communities in the region. A military annex at the museum houses memorabilia from the American Revolution through the current action in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Memorial Square was dedicated in 2001 and is a monument to the history of Ardmore and its citizens. Located adjacent to the Chamber offices, this monument was a result of the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce Foundation along with various business and community leaders and organizations. The monument pays tribute to two important aspects of this community: energy and the veterans who helped fight for the freedom we enjoy today. The monument symbolizes the community’s appreciation for our freedom and the contribution the energy industry has made to this town. The citizens of Ardmore now have a place to forever honor those who helped to preserve our freedom and energy supply.
August 7, 2004 was an historic night for the community of Ardmore. The Ardmore Convention Center Grand Opening Gala was held to mark the opening of this 45,000 square foot facility. Over 700 area residents turned out to celebrate at the largest gathering of this type in the community’s history. In 2010, a decision was made to add an additional 6800 square feet to the facility and connect to the new full service hotel currently under construction. The success of the Convention Center pays tribute to the courage and foresight of the community leadership for which Ardmore is known.
The proud heritage of Ardmore can be seen around the community and in the eyes of its citizens and community leaders. It has shaped the city into what it is today.
For more information:
Ardmore Area Chamber of Commerce
410 West Main St.
Ardmore, OK 73401
Map of Ardmore