Residential Count for 5/07/19 - Homes 466  Condos 46  Lots 340

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Sue Miller
Broker Associate
abr.sfr.rsps.bpor
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert

1971 McCulloch Blvd.N #102
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
928-706-4783
www.FindYourHavasuHome.com

Lake Havasu History

Lake Havasu was formed when Parker Dam was completed in 1938 and it was the water that first brought Robert P. McCulloch, Sr., President of the McCulloch Corporation to Lake Havasu. He was flying over the Southwest portion of Arizona, looking for a motor testing site when he spotted the abandoned Army Air Corps landing strip and rest camp which were left there after World War II. In 1963, he purchased the land and set up his testing station, which is known today as the popular launch site, Site Six.

Total land purchased for Lake Havasu City was 16,630 acres with 47 miles of shoreline. It was designed as a self-supporting city, with a balanced economy based on 40% light industry, 40% resort and recreation and 20% commercial services.
At the time, there were no houses in Lake Havasu. To house his workers, Mr. McCulloch built a 100 unit mobile home park with the Best Western and Nautical Inn being the first motels to follow. At that time, there was no post office, no television and no radio in Lake Havasu. However, gradually the businesses came and with them the homes.
 
In 1968, in order to create a centerpiece for his new city, and perhaps to boost sales, Mr. McCulloch decided to bring the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City. C.V. Wood suggested it when he was in New York and heard the bridge was for sale. Wood told McCulloch it would be a big tourist attraction and would eventually pay for itself.

On March 23, 1968, McCulloch bought the London Bridge for $2,460,000. How was the winning bid arrived at? The first question was how much it would cost London to cut the granite so it could be used again. The figure McCulloch and C.V. Wood Jr. came up with was $1,200,000 and McCulloch and C.V. Wood, Jr. then doubled that. Since McCulloch and Wood, thought someone else might figure the same way, they added $60,000 just as insurance. The reason for this figure was that Mr. McCulloch would be 60 years old when the bridge was dedicated, so, McCulloch and Wood added this amount, making the total $2,460,000. By the time the bridge was shipped and reconstructed, the cost went up to $5,000,000.

In 1971, the job was finished. The reconstruction of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City had taken a crew of just 40 workers and three years to finish, without serious injury. This was in contrast to the original construction in London, which took a crew of 800 workers, seven years to finish and 40 fatalities. The foundation stone was laid in 1969 and the bridge was completed and dedicated on October 10, 1971.

Mr. McCulloch passed away on February 25, 1977. Lake Havasu was incorporated a year later in 1978. After 3 years and approximately seven million dollars more, London Bridge was dismantled and rebuilt, connecting Lake Havasu City with an island in the lake. Reconstructing the bridge was a hugh undertaking and today stands as a backdrop for an English Village alongside Lake Havasu, complete with Tudor style buldings and shops depicting Medieval England. It's the lure of merry old England that draws year-round guests to the city and the lake. English style pubs, a playhouse, restaurants, boutiques and specialty stores can all be found in the English Village. Stroll the tree-lined walkways, stop at one of the local breweries, rent a paddleboat or take the ferry to the California side of the lake for a little gaming at the Havasu Landing Casino.

Since 1972, Lake Havasu City celebrates London Bridge Days - one of the several events held each year. Today the London Bridge attracts over 1.5 million visitors to Lake Havasu City per year, making it the second largest tourist attraction in Arizona.
 

The London Bridge and It's Journey

In 1962, over ten thousand miles away, London Bridge was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge could no longer handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames River and the British government decided to put the bridge up for sale.

The Bridge was dismantled, each stone was numbered and everything was shipped 10,000 miles to Long Beach, California then trucked to Lake Havasu City. Reconstruction began on September 23, 1968, with a ceremony including the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. On October 10, 1971, the bridge was dedicated.

London Bridge crosses a narrow boating channel that connects with Thompson Bay on the Arizona side of Lake Havasu. Prior to the arrival of the London Bridge, the land upon which the bridge was placed was a peninsula. A large dredge was used to carve a one-mile channel, removing over two million cubic yards of rock and earth in the construction phase. Water was then diverted from the lake, under the bridge and then back into the lake through Thompson Bay.

To reach the bridge from I-40, go south on Arizona Highway 95, then turn left (east) on Mesquite Avenue. Turn right (south) on Lake Havasu Avenue North and then right again on McCulloch Boulevard North to drive over the bridge. 

Best Place to Park and View the Bridge

Just after turning onto McCulloch Boulevard North, you'll cross over Arizona Highway 95.  Before you reach the actual London Bridge, turn left into the small parking lot near the London Bridge Resort.  It's an easy walk along the lower edge of the bridge to the promenade for photos.  Once you walk west under the bridge, you'll see a concrete walkway ramp which leads up to the London Bridge visitor's center, where there are some historical photos and other information about the bridge and other attractions and points of interest within about a 100 mile radius of Lake Havasu City. 

Lake Havasu Takes to the Sky!
 
 
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