The original structure was built in 1919 over the Ursa Creek and was used by the CB & Q (Chicago, Burlington & Quincy) Railroad Company–as a railroad bridge. It was an iron box tussle structure with woodpiles used as the approach supports. In 1986 the railroad tore the structure down and left the 2 original concrete piers.
Duane Shaffer, who has owned the land since 1993, had always dreamed of building on the old railroad bridge piers. After 7 years, he finally decided to fulfill his dreams of building a very unique home over the creek. In the summer of 2000, Duane and his 20 year old son Tom began working on the structure on weekends and at night after work.
In August of 2002 – Tom became engaged and it was decided he and his new bride would be the first ones to live in the new lodge. This new deadline, a wedding in September 2003, helped to speed the construction process along. With the help of many friends, it was finally completed in August 2003.
The Ursa Creek Lodge was home to Tom, his wife, and newborn daughter for close to 3 years. Since then, it has been used for many family events, overnight stays, meetings, and tours. Ursa Creek Lodge is now open to the public and the Shaffers welcome all to experience the unique one of a kind setting offered by a stay in the lodge.