Preston School of Industry

The Preston School of Industry, also known as Preston Castle, was a reform school located in Ione, California, in Amador County.[3] Construction was finished in 1890, and 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.

Preston Castle
Preston Castle 1.jpg
Preston School of Industry is located in California
Preston School of Industry
Preston School of Industry is located in the United States
Preston School of Industry
Nearest cityIone, California
Coordinates38°21′40″N 120°56′13″W / 38.36111°N 120.93694°W / 38.36111; -120.93694Coordinates: 38°21′40″N 120°56′13″W / 38.36111°N 120.93694°W / 38.36111; -120.93694
ArchitectSchulze, Henry A.
Architectural styleRomanesque
NRHP reference No.75000422
CHISL No.867[1]
Added to NRHPJuly 30, 1975[2]

It is considered one of the oldest and best-known reform schools in the United States; the original building, known colloquially as "Preston Castle" (or simply "The Castle"), is the most significant example of Romanesque Revival architecture in the Mother Lode.[citation needed]

Preston School and Director C.B. Riddick in 1900

The building was vacated in 1960, shortly after new buildings had been constructed to replace it. The abandoned building has since been named a California Historical Landmark (#867)[1] and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-75000422).[3]

In 1999, the institution's official name, applied to the newer 1960 buildings, was changed to the "Preston Youth Correctional Facility".

In 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced that the facility was to close,[4] and a closing ceremony was held on June 2, 2011.

In popular cultureEdit

The 2014 film A Haunting at Preston Castle is set at the castle and surrounding area, as is the 2019 movie Apparition.

The first episode of season 2 of the TV series Ghost Adventures is about Preston Castle.

Ghost Hunters investigated the castle's paranormal reports in season 6, episode 6.

Former wardsEdit

Former Preston wards include:[5][6]

Preston Castle in Ione, California, built in the latter half of the 19th century.


  1. ^ a b "Preston Castle". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-06.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Preston Castle Foundation". Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  4. ^ Hedger, Matthew (October 21, 2010). "Preston Youth Correctional Facility to close". Ledger Dispatch. Amador: Retrieved 2011-01-30.
  5. ^ McManis, Sam (27 June 2015). "Discoveries: Ione's Preston Castle opens up about its harsh, haunting past". Retrieved 29 March 2018 – via Sacramento Bee.
  6. ^ * Rubio, J'aime (November 28, 2012). Behind The Walls: A Historical Exposé of The Preston School of Industry, (ISBN 1481075047).
    • Rubio, J'aime (October 6, 2017). If These Walls Could Talk: More Preston Castle History, (ISBN 1548569909).

External linksEdit