In 1872, Joseph Schmucker took over operation of Friton Brewery, which was the first brewery to operate in New Ulm starting in the 1850s. Operating under a new business name, Schmucker Brewery, Schmucker built Tivoli Gardens in 1885. Located adjacent to the brewery, Tivoli Gardens operated as a bar that served products from the brewery with a dance hall on the second floor. Tivoli was described as one of the strongest and most handsome brick structures in the city.
Outside of the brewery business, Schmucker was also a three-term chairman of the New Ulm City Council Park Committee. He pushed for the beautification of the area around his brewery and bar on First North Street, including nearby German Park. He was an avid horticulturist and established beautiful Biergarten filled with flowers at the Tivoli where guests could enjoy a beer or three.
Tivoli Gardens was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The nomination form stated that “…the surrounding warehouse and industrial structures give the Tivoli a high visibility through contrast; its very survival in such a context is fortunate.” Its survival was short-lived, however. The Tivoli Gardens building was demolished in 1985 by its owner, Edward Nierengarten. The site is now an empty lot.