Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 1 Home to Bullhead City Arizona–June 30, 2011

Today’s Mileage 330
Miles To Date 330

After a false start, had to return home to empty the ice maker in the refrigerator, we made it to our first destination, Bullhead City, Arizona. It was a hot, exhausting trip with outside temperatures over 110 degrees F  most of the way. We will wait out the 4th of July Holiday weekend here at Bullhead City. Probably not the best idea as the forecast is for 115 temperatures over the weekend.

Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River at the southern border of Lake Mohave and the southern tip of Nevada. Laughlin Nevada is directly across the Colorado River from Bullhead.

Originally Bullhead City was founded as Hardyville, named for its founding father William Hardy, a New York native and an entrepreneur. Hardy established a ferry service across the Colorado River. Hardy was also the postmaster, county supervisor and a member of the Arizona Territorial Legislature.

From 1852 to 1909, steamboats made regular trips up the Colorado River, passing Hardyville regularly. The riverboats played an important part in the early development of the Colorado River and Hardyville. During its hay day, Hardyville had a general store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, a quartz mill, a billiard hall, and a respectable public hall.

As mining became more profitable a railroad was constructed from Needles, California, through Yucca, Arizona, to Kingman, Arizona, bypassing Hardyville. Soon afterward Hardyville was abandoned and became a ghost town.

The construction of the Davis Dam resurrected Hardyville but under a new name. Bull's Head Rock is a landmark along the Colorado River. The old Hardyville site became the headquarters for the construction project, which was completed in 1953. The construction headquarters was referred to as Bullhead City and a new city was born.

The nearby Lake Mohave developed into a major tourism destination, and with the development of Don Laughlin's casino across the river, Bullhead City grew rapidly. Today tourism is by far the main economy in Bullhead City.

The 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 40,225. Combining nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, Fort Mohave, and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to over 75,000. Bullhead’s International Airport estimates that more than 115,000 people flew to the city on casino-sponsored charters in 2010.

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