The City of London decided that the 1831 London Bridge, which had become too weak to support modern traffic, needed to be replaced. Instead of the Bridge being demolished, the bridge was actually sold to an American entrepreneur, for a little over $2.4 million.
American Oil Tycoon Robert P. McCulloch transported the bridge to Lake Havasu City, in Arizona, where he reassembled it as a tourist attraction. It took three years to take apart, ship, and rebuild the bridge in its new location, and it was opened to the public in 1971. The old London Bridge is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lake Havasu City, drawing more than 1 million visitors each year.
How Did the Purchase of London Bridge Come About?
The story of the purchase goes back to 18th April 1968. The old bridge needed urgent repair and instead of a major repair operation, they made the decision to rebuild the bridge completely. The incredible deal came about to purchase the bridge, have it dismantled brick by brick and shipped to the USA was, as Mr. R .P.McCulloch candidly admitted to the New York Times in October 1971
It sold for $2,460,00 to Mr. R. P McCulloch an American Oil Tycoon
the bridge was brought for one reason – to bring tourists, and their money, to a town that badly needs both.
Who Was Robert P. McCulloch?
Robert P. McCulloch was an American entrepreneur and oil tycoon who made his fortune in the oil industry. Here are some interesting facts about him:
- McCulloch was born in Missouri in 1911 and started his career as a small business owner. He owned and operated a gas station and car dealership in Joplin, Missouri, before moving to California in the late 1930s to pursue a career in the oil industry.
- In 1943, McCulloch founded the McCulloch Oil Corporation, which quickly became one of the largest independent oil companies in the United States. He later diversified his business interests and became involved in real estate development, aviation, and manufacturing.
- One of McCulloch’s most famous projects was the development of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in the 1960s. He purchased the land from the federal government and transformed it into a thriving community complete with homes, businesses, and recreational facilities.
- McCulloch also made headlines in 1968 when he purchased the London Bridge and had it shipped to Lake Havasu City, where it still stands today as a major tourist attraction.
- McCulloch was a noted philanthropist and donated millions of dollars to various causes throughout his life. He established the McCulloch Foundation to support medical research, education, and the arts.
- McCulloch died in 1977 at the age of 66. He left behind a legacy as a successful entrepreneur, visionary developer, and generous philanthropist.
What is there to do in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?
Lake Havasu City is a city located in western Arizona, known for its picturesque landscapes and a wide range of recreational activities. Here are some popular things to do in Lake Havasu City:
- Visit the Lake Havasu State Park: The state park is a perfect place for picnics, hiking, and swimming. There are two beaches, picnic areas with grills, and a campground. Visitors can also rent a boat and go fishing, water skiing or jet skiing.
- Go on a Boat Tour: There are several boat tour companies that offer sightseeing tours of the lake, including sunset tours and dinner cruises. These tours are a great way to see the lake and the surrounding area from a different perspective.
- Visit the London Bridge: The London Bridge, which was bought by Robert P. McCulloch and moved to Lake Havasu City, is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the bridge and learn about its history and the process of how it was transported from London to Arizona.
- Explore the Desert: The Sonoran Desert, located near Lake Havasu City, is home to a variety of plants and wildlife. Visitors can go on a guided tour of the desert, which includes hiking and exploring the area.
- Go Golfing: Lake Havasu City has several golf courses that offer a challenging game while providing spectacular views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
- Visit the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge: The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife sanctuary that provides habitats for a variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Visitors can go hiking, fishing, bird watching, or simply enjoy the scenic views.
- Attend Special Events: Lake Havasu City hosts several events throughout the year, including the Lake Havasu Balloon Festival, the Rockabilly Reunion, and the Bluegrass on the Beach Festival. These events provide a unique and entertaining experience for visitors.
The Map of the Location of the Old London Bridge: Lake Havasu City, Arizona
This silent film shows the event of London Bridge in October 1971