The Heart of the Gold Country

Preston Castle Historical Tours

Preston Castle Historical Tours

Historical Tours
Most Saturdays, April 1 through Aug.19, 2nd
Tuesdays in June, July, August
10am to 1pm

The majestic Preston Castle will be open for guided historical tours. 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.

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.

We also offer self-guided tours on May 13th and the June 13th, July 11, and August 8 and December 9. 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.

Plan a visit to Ione and enjoy a tour of the Castle, including a visit to the Farm Museum. 

Guided tours - Adis$15, 12 and under $12
Self-Guided and Virtual tours - $10, 12 and under $5
All tours for under 5 years, free
Preston Castle
900 Palm Dr. (end of)
Ione, CA  95640
35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione