Preston Castle

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 Mother Lode. It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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. Experiences at the castle have included EVP, humming, whispers, touching, channeling, and seeing and recording orbs and apparitions.

The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate, and utilize the historic Preston Castle site. To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year and special tours.

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Latitude: 38.360806 Longitude: -120.9380257 Elevation: 400 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Jerry Funderburgh

About this Establishment

The Preston Castle Foundation hosts tours of this historic structure on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, from March through October, from 10 am to 1 pm. There are also special tours available for photographers and paranormal investigators.

Several fun events are held during the year as well.

Visit our website for additional information:

Time Period Represented

1890 - 1960

Hours Open

10 am to 1 pm, 1st and 3rd Saturdays, March thru October

Visitor Fees

$10 donation. Fees vary for special tours.

Seasons Open

Spring, Summer, Fall

ADA Accessibility Notes

Limited ADA access.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets not allowed.

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