The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
London Bridge crosses a narrow channel that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the river). Hoping to attract tourists and prospective buyers of residential lots, McCulloch bought it for US$2.5 million from the City of London when the bridge was replaced in 1968. The bridge was disassembled on contract with Sundt Construction, Tucson, Arizona, and the marked stones were shipped to Lake Havasu City and reassembled by Sundt for another US$7 million. The construction took three years to complete.
McCulloch gave an acre of land in Lake Havasu City to London. When Lake Havasu City wanted to use this land for a visitors' center, it leased it back for a quit rent of a Hopi Kachina figure.
Since its inauguration on October 5, 1971, London Bridge has become the second-largest tourist attraction in Arizona, after the Grand Canyon. In 2017, a panel of experts partnering with USA Today's 10Best.com chose London Bridge as one of 20 initial nominees for Best Arizona Attraction. 10Best.com readers voted London Bridge as a top 5 favorite.
Lake Havasu City is an active event destination for a wide range of people. During spring months, the community is joined by university students for spring break. In 1995, Lake Havasu City was featured during MTV's Spring Break coverage.
For boaters, March to September are the prime months on Lake Havasu. The city is also home to the International World Jet Ski Final Races, multiple professional fishing tournaments, custom boat regattas, the Western Winter Blast pyrotechnics convention, Havasu 95 Speedway, the Chilln-n-Swilln Beer Festival annual charity event, the Havasu Triathlon, and the Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair.
During the winter months, the community is joined by retirees from colder regions of the country and Canada. During this period, multiple events are held on McCulloch Boulevard. Typically during the second weekend of February, McCulloch Boulevard is home to Winterfest, an annual event which draws thousands of visitors and residents for two days of food, activities, entertainment, and products from over 200 vendors from across the United States.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.1 square miles (112km2), of which, 43.0 square miles (111km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10km2) of it (0.07%) is water.
In the early stages of development of the city, McCulloch Properties operated a fleet of secondhand airliners such as the Lockheed Constellation and the Lockheed L-188 Electra to fly prospective property purchasers to the area from California and elsewhere in the US.
Lake Havasu City has a hot desert climate. In the winter months, daytime highs usually range from 60°F (16°C) to 70°F (21°C). Lows in winter average between 40°F to 50°F (4°C-10°C); temperatures do occasionally dip below 40°F (4°C). The city has extremely hot summers, with highs normally remaining between 100°F and 115°F (38°C - 46°C). Highs are known to exceed 120°F (49°C) during the summer months. Overnight low temperatures stay between 80°F to 90°F (27°C - 32°C) for the months of July and August.
The highest overnight low temperature (record high minimum) ever recorded in Lake Havasu City was 98°F (37°C) on July 22, 2003.
Mean annual precipitation is 3.84inches. The annual mean temperature is 74.6°F (23.7°C).
Climate data for Lake Havasu City Arizona (1981–2010 normals, extremes 1967–present)
Lake Havasu City holds the all-time record high temperature in Arizona history with 128°F recorded on June 29, 1994. This temperature is also the highest for a town or city in the Western Hemisphere. On December 31, 2014, snow fell on Lake Havasu City.
There were 17,911 households out of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 22.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.69.
In the city, the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 21.6% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 25.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,499, and the median income for a family was $41,393. Males had a median income of $31,594 versus $21,576 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,403. About 6.6% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.8% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.
In 2007, Lake Havasu was named one of the Top 100 places to live in America by RelocateAmerica. CNN has also listed the community among their top retirement cities in the country.
Lake Havasu City is served by the Lake Havasu Unified School District. There are currently six elementary schools (Jamaica Elementary, Oro Grande Classical Academy, Starline Elementary, Smoketree Elementary, Nautilus Elementary, and Havasupai Elementary), one middle school (Thunderbolt Middle School), one high school (Lake Havasu High School), and several alternative schools in the city. Lake Havasu Unified went through some strict budget cuts, closing one of its two middle schools (Daytona Middle School), and distributing 6th graders throughout the elementaries and 7th and 8th grades to Thunderbolt Middle School. Local voters passed a bond and a budget override for the district in 2016, helping to alleviate some school district budget problems.
In a 2008 nationwide survey, Forbes magazine ranked Lake Havasu City "The Least Educated City in America", using information from statistics on the Lake Havasu - Kingman Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses Mohave County Arizona coming up last in the number of college graduates living in the city.
The City operates under a council-manager form of government. The Mayor and six Councilmembers are elected to staggered four-year terms. The City Council sets the City's policy and direction, and appoints the City Manager who is tasked with the responsibility for carrying out Council policies and administering the day-to-day operations. Per the City Code, the Department Directors are appointed by the City Manager.
As of November, 2008, 64 percent of registered voters in Lake Havasu City are Republican, 35 percent Democrat, and the remaining 1 percent Independent.
Lake Havasu City hosted the final appreciation dinner for retiring United States Senator Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican Party presidential nominee, at the Nautical Inn Convention Center on October 21, 1986.
The London Bridge's relocation to Arizona was the basis of a 1985 made-for-TV movie Bridge Across Time (also known as Arizona Ripper or Terror at London Bridge), directed by E.W. Swackhamer and starring David Hasselhoff and Stepfanie Kramer. In the film, a series of murders in Lake Havasu is attributed to the spirit of Jack the Ripper, whose soul is transported to America in one of the bricks of the London Bridge.
The director Andy Sidaris has directed three soft-core adult films in Lake Havasu: 1989's Savage Beach, 1990's Guns, and 1992's Hard Hunted.
MTV featured Lake Havasu during its Spring Break coverage in 1995.
The comedy-adventure Border to Border was filmed in Lake Havasu in 1998. Actor Curtis Armstrong and Lisa Arturo were the leads, with a cameo by porn star Ron Jeremy.
The Concepts x New Balance Made in U.K. 991.5 "Lake Havasu" athletic shoe was inspired by the story of the London Bridge's relocation to Arizona, and the transatlantic partnership between U.K. shoe manufacturer New Balance and American shoe retailer Concepts. Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen officially declared February 27, 2018 as "Concepts/New Balance 991.5 'Made in U.K.' Lake Havasu Shoe Day."
The following is a presentation of images of the London Bridge and its surrounding area. Different angles of the bridge are presented giving the reader different perspective of the same. The lamps which were emplaced on the London Bridge in 1831 were made from the melted-down cannons of Napoleon Bonaparte’s defeated army.
Lake Havasu City
Different view of the London Bridge
Details of the bridge
Under the London Bridge
Above the London Bridge
Lamp made from Bonaparte's cannons
Different lamp style
London Bridge fence with locks
Plaza on the NE end of the bridge
The Trafalgar Square Fountain in the English Village theme park in the London Bridge area.
The English Village theme park in the London Bridge area
Related Research Articles
Mohave County is in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 200,186. The county seat is Kingman, and the largest city is Lake Havasu City.
Parker is the county seat of La Paz County, Arizona, United States, on the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The population was 3,083 at the 2010 census.
Avondale is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, adjacent to Phoenix. According to the 2018 U.S. Census estimates, the population of the city is 85,835.
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
Colorado City is a town in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, and is located in a region known as the Arizona Strip. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,821. At least three Mormon fundamentalist sects are said to have been based there.
Kingman is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler, and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 45,000. Kingman is located approximately 105 miles (169 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.
Arizona City is a census-designated place (CDP) in southwestern Pinal County, Arizona, in the United States. It is located near the junction of Interstate 8 and Interstate 10 at the midpoint between Phoenix and Tucson, approximately 60 miles (97 km) from the downtown of both cities. The population was 10,475 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. It is estimated to be approximately 11,030 as of a 2017 U.S. Census estimate. Arizona City is a rural, primarily residential community that features a semi-private golf club and a 48-acre man-made lake. These attributes make the community a popular snowbird destination, with the population increasing by as much as 5,000 people in the winter months to reach the census figure of 11,030.
Needles is a city in eastern San Bernardino County, California, United States. It lies on the western banks of the Colorado River in the Mohave Valley subregion of the Mojave Desert, near the borders of Arizona and Nevada and roughly 110 miles (180 km) from the Las Vegas Strip. It is the easternmost city of the San Bernardino-Riverside metropolitan area. Needles is geographically isolated from other cities in the county. Barstow, the nearest city within the county, is separated from Needles by over 140 miles of desert and 2 mountain ranges. The city is accessible via Interstate 40 and U.S. Route 95. The population was 4,844 at the 2010 census, up from 4,830 at the 2000 census.
Laughlin is an unincorporated town and census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States. It is located on the Colorado River, directly across from the much larger Bullhead City, Arizona. Laughlin lies 90 miles (140 km) south of Las Vegas, in the far southern tip of Nevada, and is known for its gaming and water recreation. As of the 2010 census, the population was 7,323. The nearby communities of Bullhead City, Arizona; Needles, California; Fort Mohave, Arizona; and Mohave Valley, Arizona, bring the area's total population to about 100,000. Laughlin is also 286 miles (460 km) northeast of Los Angeles.
The Mohave Valley is a valley located mostly on the east shore of the south-flowing Colorado River in northwest Arizona. The valley extends into California's San Bernardino County; the northern side of the valley extends into extreme southeast Clark County, Nevada. The main part of the valley lies in southwest Mohave County, Arizona and is at the intersection of the southeast Mojave and northwest Sonoran deserts.
Lake Havasu is a large reservoir formed by Parker Dam on the Colorado River, on the border between California and Arizona. Lake Havasu City sits on the lake's eastern shore. The reservoir has an available capacity of 619,400 acre feet (764,000,000 m3). The concrete arch dam was built by the United States Bureau of Reclamation between 1934 and 1938. The lake's primary purpose is to store water for pumping into two aqueducts. Prior to the dam construction, the area was home to the Mohave Indians. The lake was named after the Mojave word for blue. In the early 19th century, it was frequented by beaver trappers. Spaniards also began to mine the areas along the river.
London Bridge is a bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. It was built in the 1830s and formerly spanned the River Thames in London, England. It was dismantled in 1967 and relocated to Arizona. The Arizona bridge is a reinforced concrete structure clad in the original masonry of the 1830s bridge, which was purchased by Robert P. McCulloch from the City of London. McCulloch had exterior granite blocks from the original bridge numbered and transported to America to construct the present bridge in Lake Havasu City, a planned community he established in 1964 on the shore of Lake Havasu. The bridge was completed in 1971, and links an island in the Colorado River with the main part of Lake Havasu City.
Robert Paxton McCulloch was an American entrepreneur from Missouri, best known for McCulloch chainsaws and purchasing the "New" London Bridge, which he moved to one of the cities he founded, Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Mohave Community College (MCC) is a public community college with campuses in Kingman, Lake Havasu City, Bullhead City, and Colorado City, serving Mohave County, Arizona and the surrounding communities. MCC is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which is endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education.
California's climate varies widely from hot desert to polar, depending on latitude, elevation, and proximity to the coast. California's coastal regions, the Sierra Nevada foothills, and much of the Central Valley have a Mediterranean climate, with warmer, drier weather in summer and cooler, wetter weather in winter. The influence of the ocean generally moderates temperature extremes, creating warmer winters and substantially cooler summers in coastal areas.
The Las Vegas–Henderson combined statistical area, known prior to 2013 as the Las Vegas–Paradise–Pahrump combined statistical area, is made up of two counties in southern Nevada and one in northwestern Arizona. The statistical area consists of the Las Vegas–Paradise, NV MSA, the Lake Havasu City–Kingman, AZ MSA and the Pahrump micropolitan statistical area. At the 2010 census, the CSA had a population of 2,195,401.
Yucca is an unincorporated community in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. Located along Interstate 40, it lies southwest of Kingman, just east of the southern section of the Black Mountains and west of the Hualapai and McCracken Mountains in the Sacramento Valley. Yucca has a ZIP Code of 86438; in 2000, the population of the 86438 ZCTA was 282. Students in Yucca attend schools in the Kingman Unified School District.
The Black Mountains of northwest Arizona are an extensive, mostly linear, north-south 75-mile (121 km) long mountain range. It forms the north-south border of southwest Mohave County as it borders the eastern shore of the south-flowing Colorado River from Hoover Dam.
The Mohave Mountains are a small 18-mi (29 km) long mountain range of northwest Arizona. The range is a northwest trending range in southwest Mohave County that parallels a southeast-flowing stretch of the Colorado River, the Arizona-California border. The range also forms the southwest border of a flatland region to its east and north, namely, Dutch Flat which lies east, at the south end of Sacramento Valley. Lake Havasu City, AZ on the Colorado, lays opposite the southwest flank of the range, where the London Bridge was reconstructed at Lake Havasu.
ASU@Lake Havasu City is a small, low-cost extension of the Arizona State University system offering high-demand, undergraduate degrees. The campus opened in Lake Havasu City, Arizona in the Fall of 2012 and focuses on an experiential, student-centered approach to learning. The education and experience a student receives at ASU Havasu is akin to that of a private liberal arts college, with the name and resources of a large state school.