Fall Turtle Migration Has Begun

A Call for Entries for the First Annual Friends of Bertram Photography Contest

Monticello, MN,  July 29, 2014, The Friends of Bertram Chain of Lakes announces its First Annual Photo Contest.  All amateur photographers ages 14 and older are invited to capture the ideal images of this beautiful regional park and enter the online photography contest.  Photos must be taken within the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park in Wright County between August 1st and September 30, 2014.

The deadline for online entries is October 3, 2014, by 4 p.m.  Winners will be announced on October 23rd at a reception at the Monticello Community Center from 6-8 p.m.  Winning photos will be on display at the MCC through the end of December.

Winners will be recognized on the Friends of Bertram website and the Friends of Bertram Facebook page.  Winning photos will be available for viewing online.

Images are to be submitted in a digital format as per guidelines found on the Friends of Bertram website.  Each contestant may submit a total of five photos, limited to one photo in each category.  Categories include Landscapes, Plant-Wildlife, Recreation, People, and Open.

Images will be judged by a panel of Friends of Bertram board members, volunteers, and staff.  Judges will base their decisions on the qualities of composition, impact, creativity, natural beauty and storytelling.

As the contest sponsor, the Friends of Bertram will be awarding cash prizes for first through third places in each of the five categories and one Best in Show cash award.  The Monticello Community Center will sponsor honorable mention awards.

Complete contest rules and a link to the online entry form may be found on the Friends of Bertram website under Photos, 2014 Photo Contest.

The Monticello Parks Department just completed building the new fishing pier on Bertram Lake!  

Enjoy hiking or biking on the trails this weekend and don’t forget to take a break and check out the new pier!

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Trail Work Sessions – Volunteers Needed!


Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists Volunteers continue to re-build the single track mountain bike trails at Bertram. Summer work-sessions every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. Volunteers are always welcome!

Meet at the Trailhead Parking Lot
1744 – 90th Street NE, Monticello
Wednesdays at 6 p.m. through September!

Volunteers should wear long pants, work gloves, shoes or boots, and bring water and bug spray!  All tools needed will be provided. This is a friendly bunch and it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun too! For up-to-date trail conditions and information, please visit the Bertram Lakes Singletrack Facebook Page.

Bertram Lakes Singletrack


Our Park Continues to Grow!

A $3.8 million, 164-acre acquisition successfully closed on June 5, 2014,  bringing the park total to  721 acres. The purchase was made possible with $2.2 million in grant funding and additional match funding from Wright County and the City of Monticello.

The next acquisition of  80 acres is slated for 2015.  The  estimated cost is $2.3 million with $1.4 million coming from grant funding.

With the closing of the latest acquisition, the county and city will now own the beach at Bertram Lake and the 12-acre parcel where the YMCA intends to build its new Day Camp Manitou.   The YMCA will operate Camp Manitou on the county and city property through the end of the 2014 season and will transition over to their new camp for the 2015 season. The county and city will look into the options for opening the beach to the public after day camp hours.  There are many issues that need to be resolved prior to opening the beach; therefore, it is assumed the public opening of the beach will commence in 2015. Furthermore, the city has secured grant funding to begin Phase I of the Athletic Complex sometime in 2015.

Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) will continue building the single track mountain bike trails in the park this summer.  Currently MORC volunteers are working to reroute and rebuild a 10-mile mountain bike loop open to non-motorized use; however, it is expected that the trails will grow to 14 miles.  MORC volunteers work on the trails in the park on Wednesday evenings through the summer. Bertram Chain  of Lakes Regional Park is the one place in Wright County that offers mountain biking.  The trails are signed and bikers are encouraged to test out the trails.  The topography is fun to ride and there are a lot of great switches, so there can be challenging parts!

Once Bertram reaches its planned 1,050 land acres (1,200 acres including water bodies), it will become the largest regional park in Wright County!


☼ Enjoy the Weekend ☼

Whether you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing or kayaking, the weather is warm and the sun is shining ~ what a great time to get out and enjoy Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park.  Park in the parking lot off of 90th Street in Monticello Township.  The canoe launch on Long Lake is just down from the parking lot.  The mountain bike trails are signed and ready to go with the new boardwalk over the muddy area near the creek, thanks to the hard work and efforts of MORC (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists) Volunteers! While you’re out and about, be sure to pack a picnic and enjoy lunch by the lake or in the gazebo by the parking lot!  Have a wonderful weekend!



Be sure to check out our Maps Page for driving directions to the park during the I-94 Construction Project with Ramp Closures in Monticello!

Winter Block Party 2014 a Success!

Thanks to the hundreds of folks who came out for the
1st Annual Monticello Winter Block Party
Friends of Bertram Snow Sculpting Event!
Although it was a bit chilly, there were four snow sculptures carved on the front lawn of the Community Center and lots of warm conversation and fun inside the building.
Snow sculptures were judged with cash prizes going to
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners!
Kids snowman building contest winner received an
MCC Gift Card and Certificate!
This was a great event for introducing and updating the Monticello Community on the growing park and its activities.

Hope to see you next year!




Friends of Bertram

Board of Directors


Jim Lindberg
Wendy Suddard-Bangsund
Joseph Mahoney

Board Members

Martyn Dibben
Connie Erickson
Christina Johnson Koshiol
Graham Sones
Dave Wik


jims corner

Apprentice Tailor – George Bertram

After living for 10-12 years on their rented farm in Delhi, the Andrew and Alison Bartram family moved to New York City. Perhaps, this was out of necessity or simply to have better opportunities for their family, but by 1832, they were living in New York City.

With the downturn of the economy in 1833, George, at the age of 13, and with the consent of his father, was bound as an apprentice to serve for seven years under Andrew Little, Tailor.

The certificate of indenture lists George as being 13 years, 11 months, 4 days of age and his term of service to end December 1840.  The contract wording is interesting, for it states, “The Apprentice is to serve his Master faithfully, to keep his secrets, to obey his lawful commands, and neither to gamble, nor drink, nor commit matrimony within the times”.  ”In return, the Master agrees to teach the Art, Trade and Mystery of the tailor, to provide sufficient meat, drink, washing, lodging and clothing fitting for an Apprentice” and also to give him two quarters of evening schooling in the term.

At this time in history, apprenticeships were considered very serious business and rewards were often offered for “lost, strayed or stolen” apprentices!

For the first two years of the apprenticeship, George’s tasks would have included: hauling wood and water, sweeping the shop, stocking and putting in order blocks of clothes, picking up pins and needles and other necessary tasks to help the Master.  As time went by, he would have learned the “mysteries” of measuring, cutting, basting, pressing, fitting, sewing and button-holeing.

George persevered and on May 1, 1840, Andrew Little released him from his contract in consideration for his “uniform good conduct, for his honesty, truth, integrity and sobriety”.

George Bertram (new spelling as mentioned in an earlier tidbit) continued as a journeyman tailor for the next several years but little is mentioned as to which shops he may have been employed at.  During this time he met and married Julia Hamilton and began his family.


be a volunteer

The Friends of Bertram is always looking for volunteers to help out with events throughout the year from the Snow Sculpture Contest, to the Spring Cleanup, to the Blazin’ thru Bertram Phillip LaVallee Memorial Run, and more!
If you are interested in volunteering at one of our events, please contact us by completing the form below.

Thank You!



We Welcome Your Donations!

Your donations will help us to develop events, outlets, partnerships, and other activities to advance the Mission of the Friends of Bertram and the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project!
The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota acts as our group’s fiscal agent so that we are able to receive tax-deductible donations.
Donations may be mailed to:

P.O. Box 1142
Monticello, MN  55362

Donations are payable to:
MN Parks & Trails Council 
(Please list Friends of Bertram in the Memo section of your check)
Donations may be earmarked for certain projects that may need funding in the Park.  If you have any questions about donating to the Friends of Bertram or would like to discuss your donation further, please complete and submit the contact form below.
Thank You for Your Support!


Please enter your phone number so that we may contact you about your donation questions. Thank You!

Become a Friend Today!

It’s Free!

The Friends of Bertram is always reaching out to citizens in order to build a broad-based network of Friends involved in the mission of the Bertram Chain of Lakes Project.
If you are interested in the mission, please complete and submit the form below.  You will be added to our email list to receive monthly updates from the Friends and may be asked from time to time if you are interested in volunteering for events at the park and other promotional events throughout the year.
We thank you for your interest in becoming a Friend and look forward to meeting you at one of our upcoming events!







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