This year marks the 50th anniversary of the London Bridge in Lake Havasu. Having been built in 1831, the bridge has been through a lot. John Rennie made the original design of the bridge. Unfortunately, he died before construction started, so his sons took over in 1824. John Rennie’s design lasted for 140 years until it began to crumble under the weight of new innovations in the transportation industry. Our city’s founder, Robert P. McCulloch, bought the bridge for $2,460,000, or $19,000,000 in today’s money from Great Britain in 1968. Lake Havasu Pioneer Elaine Wood worked for the bank at the time, processing checks that came in. Wood said, “One day when I was sorting the checks to give to the teller to file, I stumbled upon this really long business style check. It turned out that I was holding the very check that purchased the bridge. They called McCulloch and he let us keep the check, so the check was framed and hung on the wall of the bank.” Reassembly was started in 1968 and was finished on October 10, 1971. Wood recalled the time when the bridge was finishing reassembly and said, “When I first saw the bridge, my first thought was this thing is huge. When you think of something being transported from England, you don’t think it would be that big.” The bridge is huge, spanning around 280 meters long.
After the bridge was first built, Wood said that people from all around the country came to see the bridge, some buying lots in Havasu. The bridge still brings our city a lot of attention today. According to the Lake Havasu Tourism Bureau, our city annually sees around 1.5 million people who hope to see the London Bridge, visitors spend $1.2 billion annually pre-pandemic. It also supported nearly 15,000 jobs in Mohave County in 2019. The London bridge was even in a Ghost Adventures episode that explained the bridge’s haunted history.
On October 30, our annual London Bridge Days Parade was down Main Street at 10:00 AM. The London Bridge Days Parade’s theme this year was the 70’s. It celebrated the Golden Anniversary of the bridge and its history. It included local businesses and organizations on floats. Some high school clubs were there such as Key Club and our LHHS band.