Bertram Texas History:
In 1882, the Austin and Northwestern Railroad built a line through this site to haul granite quarried at Granite Mountain in Marble Falls, Texas to Austin to use in the construction of the Texas State Capitol. Many of the residents and businesses of the town of South Gabriel moved to the site to be closer to the railroad. Bertram was named for Austin merchant Rudolph Bertram, the largest stockholder in the Austin and Northwestern Railway. The Bertram post office was established in 1882. By 1891, the town had a cotton gin and gristmill, three general stores, a grocer, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, two wagon makers, and approximately 150 residents. After 1900, Bertram became a shipping point for cotton, cattle and wool. Today Bertram is a stop on the Austin Steam Train Association’s train route. Bertram is located at the intersections of SH 29, FM 1174, and FM 243, 23.6 miles east of Lake Buchanan and the town of Buchanan Dam, 10.6 miles east of Burnet, 38 miles southeast of Tow, 32.7 miles southeast of Lampasas, 40 miles southwest of Killeen, 44 miles northwest of Austin, 25 miles northwest of Georgetown, 33 miles northwest of Round Rock, 25 miles northwest of Cedar Park, 10 miles northwest of Liberty Hill, 18.3 miles northwest of Leander, 28 miles northwest of Lago Vista, 25 miles northwest of Jonestown, 55 miles north of Lakeway, 38 miles northeast of Spicewood, and 23.5 miles northeast of Marble Falls, Texas.
Historical City of Bertram, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The town of Bertram was founded in 1882 when the Austin and Northwestern Railroad established a route through the area. The community was named for Rudolph Bertram, an Austin merchant who was instrumental in the development of the rail line. Many early residents were from the settlement of South Gabriel (2 mi. SE). Homes and commercial buildings of the pioneer settlers were moved here by brothers L. R. and J. W. Gray. The first store, also relocated from South Gabriel, was run by James E. Riley and Capt. Tom D. Vaughan. Bertram developed as a marketing center for the area's diversified agricultural production. Continued growth came during World War I when the demand for farm and ranch products increased. By the 1920s it was the site of auto dealerships, four banks, a newspaper, a hotel and a variety of other businesses. The economic depression of the 1930s, World War II and improved methods of transportation combined to limit Bertram's growth. Incorporated in the 1970s, the town remains an agricultural center. It serves as a reminder of the pioneers who settled here over a century ago. Many of their descendants still live in the area and serve as leaders of the community.”
San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad Depot-Austin Steam Train Association:
This depot was built in Orange Grove, Texas in 1912. It was restored and moved to Bertram Texas for use as the Austin Steam Train Association’s depot at SH 29 at Gabriel Street.
Austin Steam Train, Cedar Park & Bertram, TX:
After 40 years of service, the 1916 Steam Engine No. 786 sat in Brush Square until it was donated to the City of Austin in 1956. Bill Boone and others formed the Austin Steam Train Association, renovated the engine, and put it to work on the Hill Country Flyer route between Cedar Park and Burnet. It quit working in 1999. It took ten years to acquire the necessary funds to rebuild the engine. Since 1999, the Hill Country Flyer Tours have been made using Alco Diesel 442. The Bertram Depot is the 1912 former San Antonio & Aransas Pass depot from Orange Grove, Texas. It was donated to the Austin Steam Train Association by the George Peters family of Sandia. It has been restored to its original condition. The regular train routes include the Hill Country Flyer from Cedar Park to Burnet, and the Bertram Flyer from Cedar Park to Bertram. Austin Steam Train also offers many specialty rides at Christmas, Halloween and other times during the year. They also offer private charters. All rides are round trip. The Hill Country Flyer is a round trip ride between Cedar Park and Burnet, Texas. It leaves from the Cedar Park train depot at 401 East Whitestone Boulevard in Cedar Park. The seasonal Bertram Flyer is a shorter ride Between Cedar Park and Bertram. The 1912 Bertram Depot is located on SH 29 at Gabriel Street in Bertram. The Burnet Train Depot is located on East Jackson Street at South Boundary Street. All Thomas the Train rides are round trip rides to and from the Burnet Depot. (512) 477-8468. Contacts
Garrett Wilkinson (1915-1999):
Mr. Wilkinson created over 100 whimsical metal folk art sculptures. A number of his sculptures may be viewed locally at the intersection of Vaughn and East Streets, and further east along Vaughn Street.
Guy Jeffery Goble Art:
Guy's grandparents were noted artists Charles Berkeley and Fran Normann. They are best known for their painting “The Reading of the Texas Declaration of Independence” which hangs at the Star of the Republic Museum at Washington on the Brazos State Historic Site in Washington, Texas. Guy painted the American flag on the north side of Bertram’s American Legion building. He also painted the Woodsmen of the World mural on the west side of the Woodman of the World building at SH 29 and Lampasas Street.
Texas Mesquite Company:
Craig Lagerstrom builds custom furniture that has been featured in major magazines including Cowboys & Indians, Texas Highways, and Veranda. (512) 355-3710. 165 N. Gabriel Street. Email
Bertram Free Library & Thrift Store & Reservable Meeting Room:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Funds are being raised to build a new library
at the intersection of North Gabriel and SH 29. The library thrift store is located at 163 East Vaughan Street (512-355-2609). The library is open Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm. (512) 355-2113. The library is located at 170 North Gabriel Street. Email