Saturdays through September 3rd, and the 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 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, via your smartphone, so you can tour the Castle at your own pace. Also, a virtual tour will be offered for our guests with difficulty climbing stairs.
Tours: Guided - $15, $10 ages 12 and under; Self-Guided and Virtual - $10, $5 ages 12 and under; all tours - free under 5
Sunday, June 5, Noon to 4 pm,
Sunday, September 11, 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 September date includes twilight/evening light. $40 per person. Limited to 100 tickets each day. Buy your tickets early as these always sell out. www.prestoncastle.com
Amador Arts TGIF Concert
Friday, June 10, 6 pm to 8 pm
2016 will be the 18th year of Amador Arts Council’s TGIF Free Summer Concerts featuring talented bands in various beautiful venues around our county. Take advantage of the opportunity to listen to some great music in the shadow of the majestic Preston Castle.
The Groom Has Cold Feet:
Murder Mystery Dinner Party at the Castle
Friday and Saturday, August 12th and 13th, 6 pm to 9 pm
When the reviled Albert Webster turns up murdered the morning of his wedding to local sweetheart Kayla May Blossom, there’s no shortage of suspects. Luckily, there’s also no shortage of town gossips, each with her own theory acted out in hilarious slow-mo fashion for the audience to see! Could it have been saloon girl Darleen, the last one to see Albert and the girl he dumped for Kayla May? Was it Virgil, the reluctant best man and ex-boyfriend of Kayla May? Maybe it was lonely Harley, who snuffed out Albert to steal his bride? How about Hazel, the about-to-be-evicted mother of the bride? It’s going to take all of Sheriff Tickle’s investigative skills, along with his sidekick daughter Sarah and extra help from the audience, to solve this animated mystery.
Enjoy dinner in the Preston Castle Courtyard 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. Get yours now! Tickets: $45, available online at www.prestoncastle.com. Call 209-256-3623 for more information and/or tickets.
Wine Tasting & Tour
Saturday, September 10, 3 - 6 pm
Preston Castle, Palm Drive, Ione
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.
Sip a glass of wine, enjoy a variety of gourmet hors d'oeuvres, 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: Bella Grace, Bray, Clos du Lac, Drytown, Karmere, Nine Gables, Sera Fina, Sobon, Story, Tanis, Terra d’Oro, TKC, Turley, Vino Noceto, and Wine Tree Farm.
This is our 12th 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. Tickets are available at Clark’s Corner, or online at www.prestoncastle.com. Call 209-256-3623 for more information and/or tickets.
ParaCon at the Castle
September 16, 17
Castle Spirits hosts Preston Castle Foundation’s Second 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, September 17, 10 am to 6 pm. with numerous guest speakers and workshops.
- The Apparition: $100; ParaCon all day Saturday, Sept. 17, 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, Sept. 16, in the Preston Castle Courtyard, ParaCon at the Castle all day Saturday, Sept. 17, 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.
You will receive a 10% discount off of the above prices if you buy your tickets before July 1.
The Guest Speakers are a Who’s Who of the paranormal world. See website for additional information and tickets: www.prestoncastle.com
Preston Castle Halloween Haunt
Friday, Oct. 14, Saturday, Oct. 15, Friday, Oct. 21, Saturday, Oct. 22, Friday, Oct. 28, Saturday, Oct. 29, starting at 6:30 pm
The event you've been waiting for, Halloween 2016 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, October 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th.
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.
Olde Tyme Christmas
Saturday, December 10th, 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday, December 11th, 10 am to 2 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 tour of the historic Preston Castle.
Ongoing: Overnight Ghost 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 spend a night 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.Tickets are $100 per person, limited to 15 guests each night. Investigations typically start at 7 pm and last until 4 am, when everyone leaves the Castle. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.prestoncastle.com