Home DESTINATION SPOTLIGHT Lake Havasu City AZ: See Old London Bridge
Lake Havasu City AZ: See Old London Bridge PDF Print E-mail

Have you ever wondered if anyone actually believed the old sales pitch, “Would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?” Well, if you travel to the little Arizona town of Lake Havasu City, you’ll see evidence that a similar bridge sale actually happened.

Back in 1962, British officials decided the old, original London Bridge across the Thames River was, as the song says, falling down. It had been built in 1831 to carry horse carriages, but the continuous flow of modern auto and truck traffic was gradually sending it block by block into the river. So, what could they do about it? They didn’t have the money to build a new one. Then the Lord Mayor of London or some official had a great idea. Let’s sell it to the Colonies. Anyhow, those rebels still owe us for dumping all that tea into Boston harbor. There must be some Yankees there dumb enough to buy a falling-down bridge.

Although there was no eBay yet for peddling old bridges to online patsies, the Londoners proved to be absolutely right. People in Lake Havasu with too much money and insane love for anything British, including a billionaire oil mogul, shelled out nearly 2.5 million bucks for the old London Bridge.

So, in 1968, the old, crumbling structure was taken apart block by block, and shipped from England, through the Panama Canal, 10,000 miles away to California. It then went by convoy of heavy trucks to Lake Havasu City, where it was reconstructed in all of its grungy glory. The Lord Mayor of London officially laid the cornerstone in a welcome ceremony.

The bridge was officially open to traffic three years later, and since then has been a tourist attraction. The rumor is that Havasu is the local Native American word meaning “Who in the world buys a pile of old rocks?”

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