The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office cut the ribbon on its history center Thursday.

A team of retired and current deputies transformed an old home on the corner of Ninth Avenue and 19th Street in Ybor City into the history center. It displays 170 years of history since the department was founded in 1845.

  • History center displays 170 years of artifacts
  • Department was founded in 1845
  • Center located at corner of Ninth Avenue and 19th Street in Ybor City

The team got started collecting artifacts five years ago.

"We were always very good at keeping people in jail, but we weren’t very good at keeping our own history,” retired Major Clyde Eisenberg said. "Over the years we have collected hundreds of artifacts and thousands of photographs which depict the history of the office."

They collected old uniforms, equipment, photographs, jail logs and badges. The history center even found an antique desk that belonged to the sheriff in the late 1800s.

While the team found most of the items throughout the department, others were uncovered using good old-fashion detective work. Captain Jim Bradford used old personnel files to track down relatives of former deputies.

"I either made cold phone calls on the telephone or I went and knocked on the door and introduced myself and talked about the project and asked if they had any old badges or uniforms,” Bradford said.

Bradford said a lot of families were willing to loan their memories to the history center.

The center hopes to continue collecting artifacts to bring new displays to the center in the future.

The history center is open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.