Location of Bertram, Texas
Bertram is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. It is forty-three miles northwest of Austin. The population was 1,353 at the 2010 census.
Bertram is at the junction of Farm Roads 243 and 1174 and State Highway 29, ten miles east of Burnet in eastern Burnet County. The town was established in 1882, when the community of San Gabriel (near the San Gabriel River) in Burnet County was moved two miles northwest to the newly constructed Austin and Northwestern Railroad. The new community was named for Austin merchant Rudolph Bertram, the largest stockholder in the Austin and Northwestern. A post office opened in 1882, and by 1891 the town had an estimated population of 150, a cotton gin-gristmill, three general stores, a grocer, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, and two wagonmakers. After 1900 Bertram was a shipping point for cotton, cattle, and wool. In 1928 a record 11,624 bales of cotton were ginned in the town.
In the early 1930s plummeting cotton prices and the Great Depression caused the town's population to decline from a high of 1,000 in 1929 to 550 by 1931. It was 600 in 1949 and by 1966 stood at 1,205. In 1989 the town had an estimated population of 1,002 and nineteen businesses. At that time Bertram's principal industries included the manufacture of ceramic floor tiles, paving tiles, marble fixtures, and vacuum-formed and molded plastic products. In 1990 the census population was 849.
Bertram hosts an annual "Oatmeal Festival" during the Labor Day weekend. Named after the remains of the nearby community of Oatmeal, it includes a number of activities that draw attendees from all over central Texas.
The Oatmeal Festival began in 1978 as a spoof of the many chili cook-offs in the state of Texas. Ken Odiorne, who had lived in the Oatmeal community, was the first organizer, with National Oats, the makers of 3 Minutes Oats, as a sponsor.
Over the years the money raised has built an open-air pavilion in Bertram and a community center at Oatmeal. Scholarships are given to local high school graduates every year. Financial assistance has been given to many local events including theEaster Egg Hunt, Santa's Workshop, and Burnet County Livestock Show.
Bertram is served by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District. In 2007, Bertram Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bertram has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.