Real Estate

Father and son transform abandoned train bridge into cozy cottage

A derelict train bridge originally built in 1919 is living a very different second life: as a two-bedroom family home. Located over a creek in the small town of Ursa, Illinois, the train bridge was originally used by the CB & Q Railroad Company until it was abandoned in 1986. After CB & Q stripped the bridge of any reusable material, only two concrete pillars remained. But Dwayne Shaffer, who grew up in the area and played on the bridge as a kid, saw a future for the deserted site. In 2000, Duane and his son Tom set to work transforming the old bridge over Ursa Creek into a two-floor home that would be spacious enough for Tom, his new wife, Janelle, and their newborn baby. After three years of hard work, the old train bridge was rebirthed as the Ursa Creek Lodge. Click here to read more about Ursa Creek Lodge.