Thursday, April 20, 2017

Preston Castle Foundation Events for 2017

Historical Tours
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
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 to
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

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:

Photographer’s Days
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.

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, 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.
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

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Night at the Mine - Thurs May 11

A Night at the Mine
A fundraiser for Amador County Recreation Agency
Thursday, May 11th, 5:00pm-10:00pm
12594 Kennedy Mine Rd, Jackson
$35 per person in advance, $65 per couple in advance, $40 per person at the door
For more information, please contact ACRA by Phone (209-223-6349), E-mail (, or Facebook (

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

3rd Annual Shrimp Feed for historic Sutter Creek Grammar School - Sat May 13

Hungry for helping your community do something that future generations will enjoy? How about all the shrimp and pasta you can eat and benefit your community at the same time by restoring the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School.

The Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation is proud to present the 3rd Annual Shrimp Feed on May 13th, 2017. This delicious event will be held at the historic Native Sons Hall at 56 Main Street, Sutter Creek.

The dinner will include: All you can eat Shrimp and Cocktail Sauce, Pasta, Salad, French bread, and Ice Cream. There will be fabulous raffle items and amazing auction items including Wine Tasting in the cave for 10 at Helwig Winery and a vacation condominium in South Tahoe for two nights.  The evening wraps up with our famous dessert auction.  Tickets are only $40 with a no-host bar.  Socializing starts at 6pm and dinner at 7pm.   To purchase tickets please call Sharyn Brown at (209)267-5503.

This dinner is sponsored entirely by the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #17. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the SCCBF to help restore the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School.  Great strides have been made in the restoration of this beautiful building and rooms are already available to rent for your special occasions such as: family reunions, conferences, etc.  But there is still more work to be done.

Be sure to get your tickets for the 3rd Annual Shrimp Feed now, as there will only be seating for 150 people, and tickets are going fast. Call Sharyn Brown (209)267-5503 today for your tickets and help complete the restoration of the Historic Sutter Creek Grammar School.  Your participation and support is appreciated. All donations are tax deductible. Visit SCCBF.ORG for more information on the project.

Don’t want to come out for dinner, but you still want to help? You can donate at SCCBF.ORG

Help the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation finish this amazing part of Sutter Creek’s history!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Preston Castle to be a featured site in a major motion picture

"Preston Castle is proud to be the site and inspiration for a major motion picture headed to theaters next year!
APParition starring Mena Suvari and Kevin Pollak!
They wrapped up filming last week and is now in post protection. Btw the movie is produced by Howard Burd and Mark S Allen"
Here are a few pics of the great cast and crew:

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Larry Cenotto, Mother Lode Historian: Plaque Dedication ~ Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lawrence "Larry" Cenotto
Locke Cenotto

Phil Giurliani, Amador County Historical Society

Stan Lukowicz

Dana Jorgensen

Lee Cenotto