IONE, CA: Mark your calendar for April 1, the opening day of the Preston Castle Foundation’s 2017 Tour Season. The majestic Preston Castle will be open for guided historical tours most Saturdays, from 10 am to 1 pm, April 1 through August 19. You will be guided by a trained docent through the first floor, second floor and basement and learn about the history of the Preston School of Industry.
No reservations are necessary. The first tour goes out at 10:00 AM and depending on demand tours depart every 15-30 minutes. We also offer self-guided tours on May 13th and the second Tuesday of June, July, and August. These allow you to go through the Castle at your own pace, with information provided by posted descriptions. Docents will be available along the way to answer questions.
Also available is a Virtual Tour for our mobility restricted guests which will take place on the accessible ground floor (basement) of the Castle.
Tours are $15 for adults, $10 for children under 12 years of age, and free for children less than 5 years of age. Visit the website for more information and the specific dates that tours will be held.
So plan a visit to Ione and enjoy a tour of the Castle, including a visit to the Farm Museum.
Preston Castle Tours
$15, $10 under 12, free under 5
Preston Castle, 900 (end of) Palm Dr., Ione, CA
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
Saturdays, April 1 through Aug.19, 2nd Tuesdays in summer (June, July, August), 10 am to 1 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 install new gutters and downspouts to better protect the Castle from rain. To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year. The first events for 2017 are the Flea Market on May 12 and 13, and the extremely popular Murder Mystery Dinner Party on June 23 and 24.