Events at Preston Castle are a unique experience. From our Haunted Tour that will leave you afraid of the dark, to our Vines and Steins beer and wine festival that will have everyone in your group yelling “cheers!”. Our events in Northern California are meant to be shared with friends, family, or to give you a space to meet new people who all support the mission to save our castle for future generations. Explore our incredible events at https://prestoncastle.org/ and book your ticket before they sell out!
Preston Castle History:
In 1890, the 230 acre parcel of land where the Preston Castle stands was purchased from the Ione Coal & Iron Company. The land was purchased to house the Preston School of Industry, established by the State Legislature as a progressive action toward rehabilitating, rather than simply imprisoning, juvenile offenders.
The plans for the school were ambitious with the original plans showing 77 rooms on five floors. The administration building, which eventually came to be called the Preston Castle, would be the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode.
On June 13, 1894, the first wards were accepted at the Preston School of Industry, and the school was proclaimed officially opened on July 1, 1894. The next year, electricity was installed by way of a water wheel powered dynamo, called a Pelton Wheel, for incandescent and arc lights.
At its peak the Preston School of Industry encompassed 1,000 acres, 750 of which were farmland. It housed 800 wards, employed a staff of 200, and utilized approximately 50 buildings.
The Preston School of Industry remained open until 1960 when new facilities for the school were completed. The building remained vacant and fading into disrepair until September 10, 2001 when The Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty-year lease for the property. The Preston Castle has also been named a California State Historical Landmark (#867) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-75000422).
The Preston Castle Foundation received ownership of the Preston Castle and surrounding 12.91 acres on November 7, 2014.