Citizen Spotlight: Butch Wood

There are few who know more about Lake Havasu City than Lake Havasu Museum of History volunteer Roy Wood. Better known as “Butch” to the locals.
Wood has been volunteering at the museum since last summer, but his knowledge of Lake Havasu City goes back before the construction of the London Bridge began.
At the age of 17, Wood left Brea, Calif., to live with his grandparents in Lake Havasu immediately after completing high school in 1965. “I remember being drawn to the lake because of boat racing and a lot of water sports that were available to take part in,” said Wood.“At the time, this was not yet considered a city. It was called Lake Havasu.”[quote_center]“I remember being drawn to the lake because of boat racing and a lot of water sports that were available to take part in,”[/quote_center]

Wood recalls trailers around Site Six as one of the first places people called home. At the time, the area was seen as a resort town. Before trailers circled the shores of Lake Havasu, it was an Army Air Corps rest camp during World War II, but was later purchased by businessman Robert McCulloch and soon things would change dramatically and the area would expand to a city.

Butch searches through old newspaper articles at the Museum of History. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Butch searches through old newspaper articles at the Museum of History. Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

“After McCulloch purchased the London Bridge, the construction on the channel became a tool to bring in more people to Lake Havasu,” said Wood.
“People would be flown in for free to look at our bridge and purchase real estate. I remember seeing three to four flights daily.”
Wood took a job with the company MPI, which was the main developer working on the London Bridge’s construction at the time. “There was no doubt in my mind that McCulloch would be successful in making this a city,” said Wood.

Over the years, expansion of the city has proved to be successful. Wood had seen it all from the beginning when Lake Havasu City was considered just a lake, to seeing McCulloch hold celebrity tennis tournaments to attract others to the area.
[pull_quote_left]“Although I have lived to see history happen, I love to relive it. That is why I volunteer at the museum,” said Wood.[/pull_quote_left]

From old newspaper clippings and all the books in the museum, Wood says it is a way to remind us of where we came from. “It is important to be reminded of the history of our city,” said Wood. I think a lot of people tend to forget where their beginnings are,” Wood explained. “I also believe that without McCulloch Lake Havasu City wouldn’t have become what it is today.”


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