Thursday, September 27, 2018

Demonstration Day at the Historic Knight Foundry - Sat Oct 13

The second Saturday of every month is always Public Tour Day at Knight Foundry, America’s last water-powered foundry and machine shop and a premier relic of Mother Lode gold mining history. On Saturday, October 13, visitors will be able to watch expert docents actually do the kind of work that was done at the Foundry while it operated from 1873 through 1996, including – for the first time in more than 20 years! – pouring hot metal.

Knight Foundry will be open from 10 a.m. till 2 p.m. on this special day. Tours will be self-guided, so visitors can spend all the time they want at each demonstration station. Admission is $10 for adults 18 and older, $5 for students age 5-17, free for children under 5. No reservations are necessary. Knight Foundry hats, T-shirts, aprons, and more along with Pinkerton Foundry patterns are on sale. 81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek CA 95685.

Don and George salvaging some plates to use as a base for the melting oven.

Discover the magic and mystery of Knight Foundry’s Mother Lode industrial history
on a tour the 2nd Saturday of every month

Friday, September 14, 2018

Preston Castle Haunt - Fridays & Saturdays, Oct 12-27


Friday, October 12
Saturday, October 13
Friday, October 19
Saturday, October 20
Friday, October 26
Saturday, October 27
7 to 11 pm each night

IONE, CA:  On the top of the hill just behind downtown Ione rests Preston Castle – one of the last few remaining buildings of California’s first reform school for wayward juveniles known as the Preston School of Industry. Opened in 1894 and decommissioned in 1960, this dramatic building is a haunting reminder of the past. And haunted it surely is, as countless investigators and visitors have come to find out.

But in October we focus on a different kind of haunting as numerous volunteers work hard to transform the castle into the Gold Country’s premiere haunted attraction, the Preston Castle Haunt. This exciting event is the Preston Castle Foundation’s largest and most anticipated fundraiser of the year, and all proceeds raised from this event go towards maintaining and restoring the building and surrounding property.

Started in 2010 almost on a whim, the Halloween Haunt (as it was called back then) was created and operated by just a handful of volunteers. Taking advantage of the inherent spooky atmosphere of the Castle and using borrowed Halloween decorations and costumes, visitors were escorted in groups through the dark hallways and rooms in a small portion of the castle. Guests encountered all manner of scary (and sometimes silly) scenes, from witches and werewolves to clowns and mad scientists.

Over the next few years, the Haunt grew and became more popular. More hallways, rooms, and stairways were opened each year as the building was improved upon, and more and more talented volunteers joined the team of designers, builders, actors, costumers and makeup artists. The theme of the haunt also became focused on the history of the facility, with costumes, set designs and music harkening back to the early 1900’s.

Today, the Preston Castle Haunt is bigger than ever with hundreds of volunteers and experts involved in its creation and execution. We use high tech animatronics, special effects, dynamic lighting, and custom props, set designs and soundscapes to give our visitors the ultimate haunted experience in the spookiest setting around. People travel from all over California and even from other states to experience our unique Haunt. Our objective is to make you scream, laugh and have lots of scary fun… <<insert evil grin and diabolical laughter here>>

Preston Castle Haunt will be open from 7-11pm on October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27, rain or shine. Tickets are on sale now at ($25 general admission; $35 for VIP Fast Pass access with a shorter line) in limited quantities each night. NO tickets will be sold at the gate. Food vendors will be on site and Preston Castle merchandise will be on sale, weather permitting. Your ticket purchases go directly towards maintaining and restoring Preston Castle, a registered non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, not into anyone’s pockets. Our Haunt is run entirely by volunteers.

We look forward to scaring you this Halloween season at the Preston Castle Haunt!         
No Refunds or exchanges.
Come and see if you dare!                                                

Gates open at 6:45 pm, scare tours start at 7:00 pm. Admissions are limited for each night, so order early to make sure you can get in.  Tickets will not be sold at the gate.  No Refunds.

Preston Castle Haunt
$25 General Admission, $35 VIP Fast Pass
Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
Preston Castle, 900 (end of) Palm Drive, Ione, CA, 95640
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
 Fri. and Sat., October 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27; 7 to 11 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 obtain our own water and sewer connections.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year. 

In addition to the Castle Haunt, we will be holding a holiday fair/bazaar called Old Tyme Christmas on December 8.

Help Save the Castle and learn more about our history, events, and tours by visiting:  All contributions are tax deductible.

Friday, September 7, 2018

2nd Annual Feast at the Foundry - Sat Sept 22

Come experience a delicious meal cooked over open fires and served on tables stretched along Eureka Street in downtown Sutter Creek, CA, home of the historic Knight Foundry complex. Knight Foundry Alliance presents the Second Annual Feast at the Foundry, part of the Sutter Creek Heritage Days weekend.

During the Social Hour, meet friends old and new as you enjoy appetizers and no-host beer and wine at the Saloon, stroll through historic Knight Foundry, place your bids at the silent auction, and shop at our gift shop. Then sit down to a multi-course barbecue meal with salad and dessert served family style (vegetarian options also available) as you are entertained by beautiful music.

Seating is limited. Tickets are $50.00 per person and will not be available at the door. Your ticket includes appetizers, dinner, music, and a souvenir wine glass to take home.

Purchase tickets online at or in Sutter Creek at Tomorrow’s Heirlooms, 49 Main Street, 209-267-5505.
Knight Foundry, 81 Eureka Street, Sutter Creek CA 95685.