Prior to building the BERTIE, the Askews were involved with the construction and operation of the KALULA, another small side-wheel steamer. The Askew's found that the KALULA was too small for their plans and built the BERTIE larger.

Steam Engine and Boiler for Sale at Half Price, Windsor Albemarle Times, 18 September 1874
Auction Sale Of Steam Engine & Barge!, Windsor Albemarle Times, 29 January 1875
E.S. Askew, To Willie [Wilbur Askew], 10 July 1877
E. S. Askew, To Father [Zephaniah Askew], 17 December 1877