Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jackson Cemetery Walk - Sat Oct 20

A morning walk through the historic Jackson cemetery. Learn about some of the founding members of Jackson!
Saturday, October 20th, 8:30am
Meets at the arch, in the Jackson Cemetery
FREE for Be Active members, $10 for non-members

For more information, please call the ACRA office at 209-223-6349, email Nettie at, or message our Facebook page at Visit our website at

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Demonstration Day at the Historic Knight Foundry - Sat Oct 13

The second Saturday of every month is always Public Tour Day at Knight Foundry, America’s last water-powered foundry and machine shop and a premier relic of Mother Lode gold mining history. On Saturday, October 13, visitors will be able to watch expert docents actually do the kind of work that was done at the Foundry while it operated from 1873 through 1996, including – for the first time in more than 20 years! – pouring hot metal.

Knight Foundry will be open from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. on this special day. Tours will be self-guided, so visitors can spend all the time they want at each demonstration station. Admission is $10 for adults 18 and older, $5 for students age 5-17, free for children under 5. No reservations are necessary. Knight Foundry hats, T-shirts, aprons, and more along with Pinkerton Foundry patterns are on sale. 81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek CA 95685.

Don and George salvaging some plates to use as a base for the melting oven.

Discover the magic and mystery of Knight Foundry’s Mother Lode industrial history
on a tour the 2nd Saturday of every month

Friday, September 14, 2018

Preston Castle Haunt - Fridays & Saturdays, Oct 12-27


Friday, October 12
Saturday, October 13
Friday, October 19
Saturday, October 20
Friday, October 26
Saturday, October 27
7 to 11 pm each night

IONE, CA:  On the top of the hill just behind downtown Ione rests Preston Castle – one of the last few remaining buildings of California’s first reform school for wayward juveniles known as the Preston School of Industry. Opened in 1894 and decommissioned in 1960, this dramatic building is a haunting reminder of the past. And haunted it surely is, as countless investigators and visitors have come to find out.

But in October we focus on a different kind of haunting as numerous volunteers work hard to transform the castle into the Gold Country’s premiere haunted attraction, the Preston Castle Haunt. This exciting event is the Preston Castle Foundation’s largest and most anticipated fundraiser of the year, and all proceeds raised from this event go towards maintaining and restoring the building and surrounding property.

Started in 2010 almost on a whim, the Halloween Haunt (as it was called back then) was created and operated by just a handful of volunteers. Taking advantage of the inherent spooky atmosphere of the Castle and using borrowed Halloween decorations and costumes, visitors were escorted in groups through the dark hallways and rooms in a small portion of the castle. Guests encountered all manner of scary (and sometimes silly) scenes, from witches and werewolves to clowns and mad scientists.

Over the next few years, the Haunt grew and became more popular. More hallways, rooms, and stairways were opened each year as the building was improved upon, and more and more talented volunteers joined the team of designers, builders, actors, costumers and makeup artists. The theme of the haunt also became focused on the history of the facility, with costumes, set designs and music harkening back to the early 1900’s.

Today, the Preston Castle Haunt is bigger than ever with hundreds of volunteers and experts involved in its creation and execution. We use high tech animatronics, special effects, dynamic lighting, and custom props, set designs and soundscapes to give our visitors the ultimate haunted experience in the spookiest setting around. People travel from all over California and even from other states to experience our unique Haunt. Our objective is to make you scream, laugh and have lots of scary fun… <<insert evil grin and diabolical laughter here>>

Preston Castle Haunt will be open from 7-11pm on October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27, rain or shine. Tickets are on sale now at ($25 general admission; $35 for VIP Fast Pass access with a shorter line) in limited quantities each night. NO tickets will be sold at the gate. Food vendors will be on site and Preston Castle merchandise will be on sale, weather permitting. Your ticket purchases go directly towards maintaining and restoring Preston Castle, a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, not into anyone’s pockets. Our Haunt is run entirely by volunteers.

We look forward to scaring you this Halloween season at the Preston Castle Haunt!         
No Refunds or exchanges.
Come and see if you dare!                                                

Gates open at 6:45 pm, scare tours start at 7:00 pm. Admissions are limited for each night, so order early to make sure you can get in.  Tickets will not be sold at the gate.  No Refunds.

Preston Castle Haunt
$25 General Admission, $35 VIP Fast Pass
Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
Preston Castle, 900 (end of) Palm Drive, Ione, CA, 95640
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
 Fri. and Sat., October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; 7 to 11 pm

About Preston Castle Foundation

The strikingly beautiful Romanesque style Preston Castle, on a hill in Ione, was actually the administration building for the Preston School of Industry, the first major attempt in California at rehabilitating, instead of just impris­­­oning, young offenders.  Opened in 1894, the Preston School of Industry became a leader in the juvenile prison reform movement by giving convicted boys a real chance at life by educating them not only in academics, but in all of the useful trades of the time.  Closed in 1960, when the Preston Youth Authority moved into a new administration building down the hill, the Preston Castle was left to deteriorate due to weather, vandalism, and general neglect.  It now serves as a vacant, but vitally important landmark for Ione, Amador County, and the Motherlode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.  We are proud of the fact that the State of California has deeded the title for the Castle, four other buildings, and surrounding 13 acres of land, to the Preston Castle Foundation.  This year we are working hard to obtain our own water and sewer connections.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year. 

In addition to the Castle Haunt, we will be holding a holiday fair/bazaar called Old Tyme Christmas on December 8.

Help Save the Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting:  All contributions are tax deductible.

Friday, September 7, 2018

2nd Annual Feast at the Foundry - Sat Sept 22

Come experience a delicious meal cooked over open fires and served on tables stretched along Eureka Street in downtown Sutter Creek, CA, home of the historic Knight Foundry complex. Knight Foundry Alliance presents the Second Annual Feast at the Foundry, part of the Sutter Creek Heritage Days weekend.

During the Social Hour, meet friends old and new as you enjoy appetizers and no-host beer and wine at the Saloon, stroll through historic Knight Foundry, place your bids at the silent auction, and shop at our gift shop. Then sit down to a multi-course barbecue meal with salad and dessert served family style (vegetarian options also available) as you are entertained by beautiful music.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $50.00 per person and will not be available at the door. Your ticket includes appetizers, dinner, music, and a souvenir wine glass to take home.

Purchase tickets online at or in Sutter Creek at Tomorrow’s Heirlooms, 49 Main Street, 209-267-5505.
Knight Foundry, 81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek CA 95685.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2nd Annual Sutter Creek Heritage Days - Sept 22 & 23

Presented by the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation,

On September 22nd and 23rd, take a stroll through Sutter Creek’s colorful past and celebrate its’ historic legacy. Come one, come all as we open the doors for you to visit the past and experience a bit of what it was like to live in Sutter Creek during the Gold Rush! Try your hand at Gold Panning, take a ride on a real Stage Coach, hear historians tell stories of the past and visit Sutter Creeks’ amazing historical sites, some that are rarely open to the public. All this fun and it’s free, too!

Sutter Creek is known as the “Jewel of the Motherlode” because of the rich veins of gold that were discovered there. During the Gold Rush, thousands flocked there to make their fortune.  Over $160 million dollars in gold ($5 Billion by current standards) was extracted from this region between 1851 and 1942.

Self-Guided Tours: 
Maps will be available at all venues….pick one up and start having fun at any location!

"Seldom Told Tales of Sutter Creek": Local Historian Frank Tortorich will do FREE walking tours on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am, limited to the first 20 people who arrive. Meet at the corner of Main St. and Keyes.  It will last about an hour to an hour and a half. Then Frank will also do a FREE presentation at 1 pm, Saturday and Sunday, at the Sutter Creek Theater, called "49ers -- How They Got Here". 

Gold Panning and Minnie Provis Park: The earliest gold seekers worked the local creek and stream bed with simple gold pans. To celebrate those endeavors, at Minnie Provis Park there will be gold panning demonstrations and everything you need to try your hand at panning to see just how it was done. Then stroll through Miners’ Bend Park, at the south end of town, and learn the history of the mines. The early mines of this area are featured on the interpretive signs of the park.

Stage Coach Rides and the Sutter Creek Visitor Center Museum: Stop by 71A Main Street and see the old photos and historic relics. Then catch a free ride on an authentic stage coach, provided by “Doc” Wiser, from 12 – 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

The Central Eureka Mine, up the hill from Miners’ Bend, will be on the map for you to visit as a representation of these famous mines. The Old Eureka Mine was first opened in 1852 and it was operated independently until 1924 when it merged with the Central Eureka Mine, the combined properties operated as the Central Eureka Mine, which is credited with producing $36 million dollars in gold!  Hetty Green, the one-time richest woman in the world, was the owner of the Old Eureka Mine.

Sutter Creek’s Original Fire Departments: Sutter Creek’s old firehouse at 18 Main Street is now a Fire Museum and will be open to visitors.  Sutter Creek’s first fire truck is being recreated here in a 1930’s auto workshop, along with the Firemen’s Meeting Hall and other displays. Fire History Volunteers will also be on site at Sutter Creek’s first fire house on Spanish Street and at the fire bell tower on Main Street at City Hall.

Sutter Creek Auditorium and City Hall:  Located at 18 Main Street, this 89 year old building houses locally painted murals depicting Sutter Creek’s colorful history.

Historic Methodist Church: At 14 Main Street, this beautiful church has all the charm of yesteryear, a sight to behold.

The Knight Foundry: Located on Eureka Street, is the last remaining water run foundry in the county. It will be open with the machines running and historians on hand to give you an amazing insight to the production that went on there. 

Monteverde General Store museum:  Opened as a country store in 1896 and still displays all the paraphernalia of the past on its shelves. A local Historian will be there to tell you its’ history. 

Sutter Creek Historic Grammar School: The large, two-story brick building served as a school from 1870 to 1964 and is the second oldest 2 story brick schoolhouse in California. This beautiful schoolhouse is currently being restored by the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation. Take a look at how much they have done and how beautiful it really is.

Ghosts of the Past:  Visit the Catholic Cemetery at 115 Spanish St. and the City Cemetery off Mahoney Hill Rd.  Many locally famous families and settlers found their final resting place in these cemeteries, including Samuel Knight, found of the Knight Foundry.

Sutter Creek Theater:  A former silent film theater, which just turned 100 years old, will be open both Saturday and Sunday for you to see and view a variety of presentations. This beautiful theater has events every weekend with live music and now showing films too.

Food Offerings:
Grab Grub and Go, a causal dinner on Saturday the 22, at the Native Son’s Hall, 56 Main St., 4-6 pm.  No tickets necessary.  Adult and kid friendly!

Feast at the Foundry, Saturday the 22, 6 pm.  This event will be sponsored by the Knight Foundry Alliance and will take place right outside the Knight Foundry.  All proceeds will go to the restoration of the Knight Foundry.  For tickets and further info,

Humbug Hill Pancake Breakfast, 8 am to 10 am, Native Sons Hall, 56 Main St.  Start your Sunday morning with a fun “Humbug Hill Pancake Breakfast”.  The Sutter Creek Fire Department will be grillin’ flapjacks, and Hygrade eggs and ham, and don’t miss the Cowboy Coffee!  Finish your day by seeing all the sites you missed on Saturday and explore modern day Sutter Creek too.

And, not to be missed, the delicious menu choices in all of Sutter Creek’s restaurants!

Please come join the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation as we celebrate with ”2nd Annual Sutter Creek Heritage Days” on September 22 & 23.

For more information call 209-560-6880 or visit

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Over Jackson at Dusk - Sat Aug 25

Slow down, take a breath, and enjoy a relaxing evening at the Kennedy Mine Office overlooking Jackson on Saturday, August 25.  It is a casual evening of live music, wine, and tasty bites.
Explore local wines at multiple stations within the historic 110 year old Mine Office.  Pair them with small bites and enjoy the music of Windhorse as you overlook the iconic Kennedy Head frame and Jackson.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to investigate different varietals – Alicante Buschet, Granache, Syrah, Barbera, Zinfandel – while all red they are each unique.  Sample a variety of lighter wines  - Rousasane, Rose, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc – perfect for a summer’s evening.  Take home a commemorative wine glass.

Participating wineries include Bray, Cooper, Drytown Cellars, Fate, Helwig, Karmere, Scott Harvey, Sobon, Wilderotter and Yorba.

Tickets are available at Amador County Chamber of Commerce, Amador Council of Tourism, Kennedy Mine and online at

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kennedy Mine adds Gold Country Art Show & Sale to Annual Founders' Day Deep Pit BBQ

(Jackson, CA) Tickets are on sale now for the annual Kennedy Mine Foundation’s annual Founders’ Day Deep Pit Barbecue to be held Thursday, June 21, 2018 at the Kennedy Mine.

This year, the benefit dinner will include an art show and sale, with works by local artists who participated in the Kennedy Mine’s “Painting Out” outdoor painting and photography competition held this spring and other Gold Country-themed art.

Two artworks, by Painting Out competition winners Joy Burman and Judith Perry, will be live-auctioned during the evening held on the lawn at the Kennedy Mine. Burman’s photograph of the head frame and Perry’s pastel of the mine’s transformer shed celebrate the beauty of the Kennedy Mine property and its history.

This year the Foundation 21st anniversary celebration will honor founding members Merv and Betty Hoffman, Bill and Shirley Miller, Bill Braun, Ilah Blauvelt, Dee Davis, Volcano Telephone, and Jean Louise Dahl, for their roles in recognizing and acting to keep the historic gem available to the public.

For the second year, the Foundation has commissioned limited edition 16” by 20” posters, featuring the winning Painting Out artworks by Burman and Perry: Burman’s photograph of the Kennedy Mine head frame and Perry’s pastel of the mine’s transformer shed celebrate the beauty of the Kennedy Mine property and its history.

 “Gold Country” by Joy Burman, artistically manipulated photograph on acrylic, winning photo of the Kennedy Mine head frame, taken on the Mine’s outdoor “Painting Out” art competition in April and featured on the Kennedy Mine Foundation’s 2018 commemorative posters.

“Gold’n Morn” by Judith Perry, pastel drawing of the Kennedy Mine’s historic transformer shed, created at the Kennedy Mine’s Painting Out outdoor art competition  and featured on the Kennedy Mine Foundation’s 2018 commemorative posters.

The posters are available for $20.00 at the Kennedy Mine gift store and at the Amador County Chamber of Commerce office, 115 Main Street, Jackson.

The evening at the beautiful grounds around the iconic Kennedy Mine head frame will include the delicious deep pit beef barbecue dinner, no host beer and wine, music by Old Soles, the Gold Country Art Show and Sale, and raffle. Doors will open at 5 pm, with dinner at 6 pm.

Tickets are $40 each, $75 for a couple and are available online at Tickets can also be purchased at the Kennedy Mine on weekends, and at the offices of the Amador Council of Tourism (209.267.9249) and Amador Chamber of Commerce (209.223.0350).