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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.
John Schaffner came to Dubuque in the latter part of the 1840s and is believed to have been the first operator of the Tivoli Gardens and the builder of the Tivoli Garden House. It remained under the ownership of Schaffner until 1860 when a Richard Cox became the owner.
In 1860 Tivoli Gardens was the scene of the AGRICULTURAL FAIR, the first large fair held in Dubuque County. The opening day on September 19, 1860 raised six hundred dollars from admission tickets. (3) Transportation from the JULIEN HOUSE was supplied by an omnibus for ten cents. With over five hundred exhibits of manufactured clothing, fruits, vegetables, paintings, cigars, and farm animals, the three day event had something for everyone.
In 1863 Joseph Zugenbuehler became the owner of the property, and operated the gardens until 1876 when John Krayer became the owner and they were renamed the Centennial Gardens. (3) He was the owner when the beer gardens were discontinued. (4) In 1877 lots in the former gardens were selling for $1,100. (5)
1. Sommer, Lawrence J. The Heritage of Dubuque: An Architectural View. Tel Graphics, East Dubuque, Illinois, 1975, p. 23
2. Kruse, Len. "Having Fun," My Old Dubuque, Dubuque, Iowa: Center for Dubuque History, 2000, p. 310
3. Jacobsen, Jacob. DUBUQUE—THE KEY CITY: The Architectural And Historical Resources of Dubuque, Iowa, 1837-1955 Phase I Historical and Architectural Survey Report, January 15, 2002, p. 4
5. "Caught on the Fly," Dubuque Herald, August 26, 1877, p. 4. Online: https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=uh8FjILnQOkC&dat=18770826&printsec=frontpage&hl=en