Discover History of San Diego's Sheriffs at Newly Renovated Museum

The museum held its grand reopening boasting newly redesigned features and exhibits.

It may be one of San Diego County's best kept secrets the William Kolender San Diego County Sheriff's Museum.

On Oct. 12, the museum held its grand reopening in Old Town boasting newly redesigned features and exhibits.

The museum owes a lot to former Sheriff Bill Kolender, who served as both sheriff and San Diego police chief. Kolender died last week at the age of 80.

According to museum director Don Crist, Kolender was very involved in the direction of the museum and was a catalyst behind getting the building retrofitted and ready for public visitors.

The second floor of the museum has been redone, with new displays.

“A lot of people are surprised about the history that we hve tied in at every aspect of this museum,” Crist said.

There is a jail cell, vehicles and uniforms from throughout the years.

There is also a display about the county's first sheriff who later went on to gain fame as the "Father of the California Wine industry."

Agostin Harszthy, sheriff in 1850, was considered to be an avant-garde, Crist said.

The Hungarian native spoke more than a dozen languages, ran boats across the Mississippi River and traveled to California for the Gold Rush.

The public is welcome to tour the museum on San Diego Avenue in Old Town Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donations are accepted in lieu of admission.

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