Monday, March 31, 2014

Opening Day at Preston Castle is Saturday, April 5

Saturday, April 5
10 am to 1 pm

Mark your calendar for April 5, the opening day of our 2014 Tour Season. The majestic Preston Castle will be open for guided historical tours the first three Saturdays of each month, from 10 am to 1 pm, April 5 through September 6.  Tours are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12 years of age, and free for children less than 5 years of age.

On Opening Day we will also be having a book signing by Gary Stout, from 11 am to 12 pm.  Mr. Stout is the author of “Arrested Innocence,” a fictional story based on the history of the Preston School of Industry. The setting of the story is the early 1900’s. William, a young boy whose parents passed away, is falsely accused of stealing money. The book recounts his journey to and through the Preston School of Industry. The book is $18 and is for sale in the gift shop.

Come have Gary Stout sign his book for you, enjoy a tour of the Castle on opening day, and visit our Farm Museum.  We’ll see you April 5! 

Castle Tour: $10; $5 under 12, free if under 5

Preston Castle Tours:
$10, $5 under age 12, free under age 5
Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
Preston Castle, 900 (end of) Palm Dr., Ione, CA
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
Saturdays, April 5 through Sept. 6, 2nd and 4th Thursdays in summer (June, July, August)

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.  This year we are pushing hard to obtain our own utility connections that will ultimately lead to acquiring the title to the property.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year.  The first event for 2014 is the annual Preston Castle Golf Classic, on May 1, at Castle Oaks Golf Course.

Castle Tours are available on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Saturdays, and select Thursdays, from 10 am to 1 pm, during the warmer weather months.  Check the website for specific dates.  Help Save The Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting  All contributions are tax deductible.