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, just a short 50 minute drive from Angels Camp. 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. It was vacated in 1960, shortly after new buildings had been constructed to replace it. The abandoned building has since been named a California State Historic Landmark and is on the Federal Register of Historic Places.
You are invited to take an interesting and informative historical tour of Preston Castle. 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. We offer self-guided tours one Tuesday each month during the summer. These allow you to go through the Castle at your own pace, with information provided by posted descriptions.
Also available is a closed-captioned Virtual Tour for our mobility restricted guests which will take place on the accessible ground floor (basement) of the Castle.
The last tour goes out at 1:00 PM. Cameras are allowed but please no tripods.
Public tours are available most Saturdays, April to August 18, and select Tuesdays, June to August. Call to confirm tour dates.
For pricing and other information visit their website.
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