Residents can once again discover the roots of Hesperia now that the Harrison Exhibit Center has reopened to the public.

With more than 170 years of history built in, the building has been in its location since the 1920s, according to Hesperia Recreation and Park District supervisor Don Webb.

Originally a house, Kervin and Barbara Harrison donated it to the district in 2001 for use as an exhibit hall, Webb said.

Items from the collections of John Swisher, Myra McGinnis and Hesperia's Old Town Museum comprise the center's "History of Hesperia and the Surrounding Valley" exhibit, a sort of starting place to step back in time.

One of the Old Town Museum's artifacts is a 1920s schoolhouse lock and key set from the Old School House that was built in 1883, according to local historian Gary "Griz" Drylie.

Historian John Swisher spent a lot of time documenting the area's history and had an amazing amount of extensive knowledge, according to Webb.

The center is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 16367 Main St., east of Third Avenue. For more information, call 760-244-5488 or visit

Freelance reporter Amy Zillner contributed to this report.