Sunday, September 20, 2015

Photos-of-the-Week #229 A Touch of London Town in the Desert, Lake Havasu City, Arizona, April 2015

So, here we are at the London Bridge. Yes! That London. But, No! Not in Merry Old England.

It was in the early 60's when this little wide spot in the Arizona desert across the Colorado River from California became a small town and the site of a unique undertaking. The historic London Bridge from the British city by the same name was purchased from the City of London. It was painstakingly disassembled and each component carefully numbered and shipped to the U.S.

After arriving in Lake Havasu City where preparations had already been made, the London Bridge was reconstructed to its former glory. It was opened to the public in 1971 and remains a unique tourist attraction of this isolated desert city with a current year round population of around 52,500 people. This location has become a very popular spring break destination for thousands of college students each spring. The activities of these students has been the subject of much controversy over the years.

Everything that Lake Havasu City has become, including the acquisition and reconstruction of the London Bridge is the brainchild of Robert P. McCulloch, the man behind the famous McCulloch Chain Saw. He bought the land to create the city, opened three McCulloch manufacturing plants there and provided over 2,700 free flights on his own Lockheed Constellation to bring prospective buyers to visit the fledgling city to purchase lots and begin populating the area.

I find it all pretty remarkable, especially when one takes into consideration that Robert McCulloch died at the early age (by today's standards) of 66.

It's an interesting and pleasant place to visit. However, I would avoid going there during the spring break time, unless you're a voyeur and want to watch a bunch of young people going wild. This was the locale, along with New Orleans, for much of the filming of the somewhat infamous “Girls Gone Wild” video series.

I'd also avoid visiting during the late spring, summer and early fall months when the temperatures easily top out between the high 90's and the record high of 128 degrees. during the day. The nights are cooler during that time, but seldom below the mid 80's and often upwards of 94 degrees.

1 comment:

  1. MLK weekend in January is when the vw campers show up for 'Buses By The Bridge'. That is also the month all the activity is going on in Quartzsite. Just saying....