Saturdays, April 1st through August 19th
2nd Tuesdays, June through August
10 am to 1 pm
Come to Ione and enjoy an informative historical tour of the magnificent Preston Castle and surrounding grounds. 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.
This year we are introducing self-guided tours, so you can tour the Castle at your own pace. These will be available May 13, June 13, July 11, August 8 and December 9th.
Also, a virtual tour will be offered for our guests with difficulty climbing stairs, on all tour days.
Tours: Guided - $15, $10 ages 12 and under; Self-Guided - $10, $5 ages 12 and under, and Virtual - $5 all ages, and all tours - free under 5
Castle Flea Market
Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13, 8 am to 4 pm
Preston Castle Foundation’s FIRST EVER Flea Market! Up for grabs will be furniture, clothing, paintings, art, jewelry and YOU NAME IT! Items being sold are donations made to the PCF to use or sell for the betterment of the Castle. We need to clear out space in the buildings for more restoration and better usage of the rooms, and we have some BIG plans in the works!
The sale will be held on the grounds near the Colonial Building. Volunteers are welcome to help out-contact Mary Martel at (209) 256-3623. The Castle itself will be open for self-guided tours on Saturday, the 13th so stop by on the way out. Don’t miss your chance to own a treasure that belonged to the Castle and be a part of the future beautification of our famous Preston Castle!
Sunday, June 4, Noon to 4 pm,
Sunday, August 27, 4 pm to 8 pm
On Photographer’s Day you can roam the castle on a self-guided tour. Visitors are allowed four hours to explore the non-restricted areas of the castle. This gives you the time you need to set up shots without rushing to keep up the pace of our normal informative tours. Come to one, two, or all three – you will never run out of cool shots. Note the dates are on Sunday, and the August date includes twilight/evening light. $40 per person, including models. Limited to 100 tickets each day. Buy your tickets early as these always sell out. www.prestoncastle.com
Gravestone - Murder Mystery Dinner Party at the Castle
Friday and Saturday, June 23rd and June 24th, 6 pm to 9 pm
Given the current state of affairs in Gravestone, Arizona, the mayor feared for his life and hadn’t seen the sun in months. With the last three sheriffs mysteriously shot in the back, Gravestone had become a lawless town run by a bunch of outlaws known as The Ranchers.
The mayor had high hopes that recent arrival Wylie Arp and his brothers would consider taking over as the law enforcement in town and getting The Ranchers under control or better yet…running them out of town.
A party was held with a delectable Wild West dinner. Fun and games were being enjoyed by the guests until someone was found to be murdered in cold blood! The townsfolk rallied together to figure out whodunit, and a grueling investigation ensued. Over coffee and dessert, the suspects came clean with their involvement with the crime and to everyone’s shock - the murderer confessed! Overall, it was a night to be remembered by all.
Enjoy dinner in the Preston Castle Courtyard, hosted by the Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel, and be part of the action as events unfold around you. Observe, ask questions, and use your super sleuth skills to figure out “who done it?”
A no host bar will have a nice selection of drinks available for purchase.
Limited to 100 tickets, each night, $50. Get yours now!
FREE Amador Arts TGIF Concert
Friday, June 30, 6 pm to 8 pm
2017 will be the 20th year of Amador Arts Council’s TGIF Free Summer Concerts featuring talented bands in various beautiful venues around our county.
This year Preston Castle will be hosting Ideateam. Bring your own chair and take advantage of the opportunity to listen to some great music in the shadow of the majestic Preston Castle. For more information go tohttp://www.amadorarts.org
Movie Night at the Castle
Saturday, July 15, 8 pm to 11 pm
Self-guided tours of the Preston Castle followed by Movies on the patio. Tickets - $20
Wine Tasting & Tour
Saturday, August 5th, 5 pm to 8 pm
Taste the fine wines of Amador County and experience the history of the majestic Preston Castle. Attendees will sample fine wines, poured by 15 different wineries, from commemorative Preston Castle wine glasses, and have the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of the Castle.
Sip a glass of wine, enjoy a variety of tasty foods, and listen to live music on the patio where the food will be served, and in the basement of the Castle where the wineries will be pouring.
Last year’s wineries included: Amador Cellars, Bella Grace, Bray, Drytown, Karmere, Prospect Cellars, Sera Fina, Sobon, Story, Tanis, Terra d’Oro, TKC, Turley, Vino Noceto, and Wine Tree Farm.
This is our 13th annual Wine Tasting and Tour. It continues to be one of Amador County's premier wine events, and is always a sellout, so get your tickets now! Tickets: $40. For more information and tickets go to prestoncastle.com
ParaCon at the Castle
August 25th and 26th
Castle Spirits hosts Preston Castle Foundation’s Third Annual Benefit Paranormal Conference. Castle Spirits is a paranormal investigation team that has served as the Preston Castle's overnight paranormal docents for the past six years. All proceeds from this event will go towards the preservation and rehabilitation of the Preston Castle.
Three packages are available:
The Visitation: $75; ParaCon all day Saturday, August 26th, 10 am to 6 pm. with numerous guest speakers and workshops.
The Apparition: $100; ParaCon all day Saturday, August 26th, and a 2+ hour investigation of the Castle on Saturday night.
The Full Possession: $125; includes a Meet and Greet from 6 pm to 8 pm Friday evening, August 25th, in the Preston Castle Courtyard, ParaCon at the Castle all day Saturday, August 26th, and a 2+ hour investigation of the Castle on Saturday night. We will have up to 3 different investigation times Sat. night, with a maximum of 30 people per time. Buy your tickets according to which time you want for your investigation.
The Guest Speakers are a Who’s Who of the paranormal world. See website for additional information and tickets: www.prestoncastle.com
Preston Castle Haunt
Friday, Oct. 13, Saturday, Oct. 14, Friday, Oct. 20, Saturday, Oct. 21, Friday, Oct. 27, Saturday, Oct. 28, starting at 7 pm
The event you've been waiting for, Haunt 2017 at the magnificent, eerie, scary, Preston Castle!
Featured on Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, come experience Northern California's only REAL Haunted House! The Preston Castle will be having special tours the three weekends before Halloween.
This is a fun "scare" tour and not a historical tour of the entire Castle. This year's Haunt will be bigger and better, and you will see some new areas of the Castle this year.
We will have vendors with a variety of food options, and drinks, popcorn, and other munchies, as well as some really great T-Shirts and other merchandise, available for purchase.
Tickets sell out, so go to prestoncastle.com, click on Preston Castle Haunt, and purchase tickets online only.
Olde Tyme Christmas
Saturday, December 9th, 10 am to 4 pm
Travel back to Victorian times at the beautiful Preston Castle and find lots of interesting arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, and other gift items while listening to Christmas Carols. Also, Santa will be available for your wish lists.
For the last time this year, you may take a self-guided tour of the historic Preston Castle.
Nighttime Paranormal Investigation Tours
Thanks to our partnership with an experienced Paranormal Research Group, the Preston Castle Foundation is excited to offer opportunities for visitors to spend the night in the Preston Castle.
Now you can have the opportunity to perform paranormal investigations in this truly haunted Castle with a small number of other ghost hunters.
You will have access to three floors of the Castle throughout the night with only your flashlight and paranormal investigation gear along for comfort.
Experiences at the Castle have included EVP, humming, whispers, touching, channeling, and seeing and recording orbs and apparitions. There have been no harmful events and no one has been hurt during these overnight events.
Numerous Paranormal research groups have investigated this location and report that it is one of the most active sites they have had the pleasure to experience. You will also have the chance to learn paranormal investigation techniques if you wish to do so.
Every person venturing through the Castle will have a docent with them to insure their safety throughout the evening.