On Friday, March 11, 2016, my friend, Konny and I took a drive from Blythe, CA to Lake Havasu City, AZ. We drove to Parker AZ and followed the beautiful Colorado River up and over the Parker Dam, then on into Lake Havasu City.
When you drive into Lake Havasu City it really is not all that appealing, it’s a town sitting in the middle of a desert with palm trees and surrounding mountains.
But when you get down near and on the water then you realize what the beauty of the place is and the vibe that generates from all the boat activity and the awesome splendor of the London Bridge.
Lake Havasu attracts the college crowd for “Spring Break”. Konny and I were standing on the bluff here near one of the lighthouses and taking in the beautiful view of Lake Havasu when the young men in the boat you see in the above picture were waving at us. We in return also waved. They then were yelling from the boat as it approached closer to the beach a bit beyond us if we wanted to come and get on their boat. Konny, and I realizing that these boys surely were drinking decided that it was time that we be going on our way, so we hopped back in the car and went on our way. It was comical and Konny and I had a good laugh about it LOL.
The entrance gate to the English Village was part of Witley Court in Worcester, England. Witley Court had been remodeled for the Earl of Dudley in the 19th century. There came a time when there were money problems and the house was sold in 1920. Then in 1937 after a fire Witley court changed hands several times and was purchased by a salvage dealer in 1954. Everything of value was sold. Mr. McCulloch bought one of the gates and shipped it to Lake Havasu City.
The marker here reads: “The boundary of the City of London, established in Roman times, is marked by a heraldic dragon at each entry by freeway. This dragon marks the boundary of the City of London Land in Lake Havasu City.”
It is very mind-boggling when you are standing there admiring the London Bridge and realizing that this bridge was completed in 1831 and was taken apart piece by piece, moved all the way by boat and truck from London to Lake Havasu City and put back together.
How London Bridge came to Lake Havasu City began over 5,400 miles away in London, England. This bridge spanned the Thames River in London, England between 1831 and 1968. The nursery rhyme song “London Bridge is falling down” that was referred to in that song was built between 1176 and 1209 to replace an earlier timber bridge.
The new bridge survived more than 600 years. By the end of the eighteenth century, it too needed to be replaced and another bridge was completed in 1831. As time passed, that bridge began sinking at the rate of an inch every eight years. In 1967, the City of London placed the bridge on the market.
The winning bid went to Lake Havasu City founder Robert P. McColluch for $2,460,000. Each block on the bridge was numbered, the bridge disassembled, shipped overseas through the Panama Canal to California, trucked to Arizona, and reconstructed for a total relocation and assembly cost of $5.1 million. The bridge was built over dry land on a peninsula. When the building was complete, a mile long channel was dredged, turning the west end of the peninsula into an island. Today, London Bridge is a tourist attraction. An “English village” has been built along the river underneath the bridge with walkways, shops, and restaurants, boat, and ski doo rentals.
The inside of the bridge is hollow. When it was rebuilt, it needed to be able to accommodate auto traffic. During the London Bridge’s reassembly, a steel framework was faced in granite, rather than using solid granite blocks, which reduced its weight from 130,000 tons to 30,000 tons, while strengthening the structure. In London, engineers and construction workers disassembled the bridge and marked each granite stone with a four-digit code: one number for the arch, one for the row and the last two for the position in the row. There were no two stones connected when they got here. They were all separate.
The project engineer had acquired the original plans for the bridge, drawn by 19th-century engineer John Rennie Sr., and the workers used those plans, along with photographs taken as the bridge was pulled down in London, to attach the blocks to the concrete frame, much like putting tile on a wall. A crane moved along the span to lift the blocks. Sand from the channel acted as molds for the archways.
The bridge is 952 feet just shy of its length back in London, where there were longer approaches to the river.
The lamps on the bridge are melted down cannons of Napoleon Bonaparte army.
On Oct. 10, 1971, the lord mayor of London traveled to Arizona and helped dedicate London Bridge on the shores of Lake Havasu.
Lake Havasu City Lighthouse Replicas
Lake Havasu is home to more lighthouses than any other city in the world. Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club built and maintains the 24 one-third scale lighthouse replicas. Lighthouses from the East Coast line the east side of the lake; lighthouses from the West Coast are on the west side of the lake and the Great Lakes lighthouses are around the island in Lake Havasu. All the lighthouses function as actual navigational aids and were built to the specifications of famous lighthouses.
This collection of lighthouses was originally started for safety purposes. The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club wanted to make the lake a safe place for night boating and fishing. But instead of just settling on simple and mundane lighthouses that could be cheaply produced, they took pride in their development and chose to pay homage to the famous lighthouses in the U.S. by making smaller replica lighthouses.
Split Rock-Lake Superior, Two Harbors MN
East Quoddy-New Brunswick Canada
Across Lake Havasu is the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe Casino. Konny and I were wanting to take a boat ride and so we decided to take the $2.00 ferry crossing ride to the casino.
We caught the ferry here
My good friend Konny
We only spent an hour at the Casino since the ferry ran every hour. Here are just a few pictures of the sun going down on our return trip back to Lake Havasu City.