TIVOLI is a small community surrounded by farmlands, rich with grain sorghum, corn, and cotton. There are numerous ranches also located in the area. Approaching Tivoli from the south (see the picture to the right), bucolic scenes beckon the visitor into this sleeply little Texas town.
Captain Newton Cannon Gullett founded Tivoli, Texas on his ranch of the same name. Gullett erected a cotton gin, store and a boat landing on the Guadalupe River to export cotton and receive supplies. He was instrumental in bringing the railroads into that section of Texas, establishing the Gulf Coast Fair Association, and is reputed to be the first person to use wire fencing in Texas to close the open ranges. He was a familiar face in Washington D.C. and a pioneer member of several cattlemen's organizations.
The town was first platted in 1907 by rancher Preston R. Austin with partners). A post office was granted in 1912. The St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway was extended through Tivoli (to the terminus at Austwell) that same year. The local Lieuen Rogers Masonic lodge was chartered in 1914.
The town was re-platted in 1913 - doubling the size of the town from five blocks to ten. Austin donated the town's first church and school. Hurricanes hit Tivoli in 1919 and 1942, but the shallow bay, high bluffs and slight population spared the community from obliteration. The town reached its population zenith in 1928 with a population of 700.
No visit to Tivoli would be complete without a visit to Canales Cafe. Authenic Mexican food is the standard fare; however, other traditional Texas foods are on the menu. Many working men in the area have their lunch there which is testimony enough as to the quality of the food.
The citizens of Tivoli are justly proud of their school system. The Austwell-Tivloi Independent School District buildings are located in Tivoli and serves both communities. Shown below are the modern facilities of this 1-A school system. The elementary building (right) is new construction while the high school building (left) also houses Junior high students.