The Heart of the Gold Country

Historic Sites and Landmarks

Historic Sites and Landmarks
Located here in Amador County, just outside the quaint village of Volcano, Black Chasm Cavern was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1976 after being recommended by local members of the National Speleological Society, and as such is considered a "nationally significant natural area.”
McLaughlin’s Daffodil Hill is a multi-generational project which has it’s origin in a family garden dating from the late 1800’s. Today it has become a full scale tourist destination attracting thousands annually to this beautiful site near Volcano.Daffodil Hill is in a beautiful alpine setting at an elevation of over 3,000 feet. With pine trees, an old barn, wagon wheels, and rusting mining equipment and farming tools, it appeals to anyone with a love of nature. Flowers are everywhere, with pea-fowl, chickens, pigeons and lambs making themselves at home.

You are invited to take a trip back in time on the ghost trails adventure!

Go on a scavenger hunt through the historic Pine Grove, Aqueduct and Volcano cemeteries. Use your map to find specific cemeteries on the adventure and the headstones that match people in the short stories of pioneers, their journey west and settling in Amador County. This is a great family activity!

Packets are $10 each, available at the ACRA office.You order tickets over the phone, paying by credit card and we will email your packets.

Serving Gold Country since the early 1850's, the Ione Hotel is an icon of the wild days of the Gold Rush of 1849.
The hotel was built to house miners and serve as a stagecoach depot for supplies and everyday commerce.
Founded before the gold rush, Ione is a town rich with history.
14 rooms with rates starting at $85 per night. All rates do not include a city tax of 10%. All rooms have private bathrooms and showers.
Amador County Museum's Kennedy and North Star Mine Model Exhibits include three operating models of mining structures.
Tours: Saturdays at 11 am and 1 pm. Groups by appointment.
(209) 257-1485


The Kennedy Mine, famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world (at 5912 feet), demonstrates how gold changed an entire way of life in California.  Prospected in 1860, reorganized in 1886 and continuously run until 1942, the Kennedy Gold Mine produced approximately $34,280,000 in gold.  One of the tallest head frames in existence today can be seen at the Kennedy Mine. The mine also had one of the largest stamp mills in the Mother Lode, moving tailings by means of huge wooden wheels, some of which are still standing.

The Kennedy and most gold mines in California had to close in 1942 during World War II. Most, including the Kennedy, did not reopen after the war or ever again.  Hence, the Kennedy Mining and Milling Company disincorporated in 1950 and sold its mine, real property, and plant to its last superintendent, Mark Eudey, and wife Frances. They, in 1955, deeded Wheels 1 & 2 and a half acre holding them to the County of Amador.  Those wheels, however, were landlocked with no access. 

Preston School of Industry, also known as Preston Castle, was formerly one of the oldest and best-known reform schools in the United States. It is located in Ione, California. The institution was opened in June 1894 when seven wards (minors under the guardianship of the state, but not necessarily juvenile offenders), were transferred there from San Quentin State Prison. The original building, known colloquially as Preston Castle (or simply The Castle) is the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Gold Country.
Roaring Camp is something special in the way of family recreation. It is an old gold mining camp on the Mokulmne River. In the past, it was accessible only by horseback. Roaring Camp was once a camp for Forty Niners, but since it was so inaccessible, most of the gold still remains. Visitors can see our operating gold mine and can mine their own gold by panning, sluicing, dredging, and dry washing.

The Sutter Creek Fire Department History Project is restoring and recreating vintage fire equipment used in the Mother Lode for the last 150-plus years.

The Sutter Creek Fire History Projects were started in 2005 by the Sutter Creek Fire District (SCFD) and the Sutter Creek Volunteer Fire Department (SCVFD) to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Sutter Creek Fire District. The initial project was to research and develop a written/graphic history of the organizations’ service to Sutter Creek and Amador County.

Built in 1852, the National Hotel in Jackson, CA was rebuilt after a fire eleven years later. This grand structure was visited thereafter by many kinds of travelers throughout the Great California Gold Rush and then through the turn of two centuries. Thoughtfully renovated with impeccable richness while preserving its historical roots, the National Hotel is a treasure. Original, refinished furniture and artwork grace the lobby, halls and rooms. The hotel anchors downtown Jackson, California, with old-fashioned charm and authentic character.