Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Olde Tyme Christmas At Preston Castle This Weekend

Travel back to olden times at the beautiful Preston Castle this weekend and find lots of interesting arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods and other gift items at their Old Tyme Country Christmas event. Also, Santa will be available for your wish lists!

Over 40 vendors will be displaying and selling their wares.  Plan your visit around the wonderful downtown Ione Christmas Parade, 11 a.m., on Saturday, December 14.

Also, for the last time this year, you may take a tour of the historic Preston Castle, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on December 14 and 15.

On Saturday night, you can view the Castle lit up in Holiday Lights from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  There will also be a special historical tour of the Castle by flashlight from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
  • WHAT: Olde Tyme Country Christmas at the Castle
  • PRICE: Free for Holiday Fair and Lights Gathering, $10 daytime tours, $20 night flashlight tour
  • WHO:  Sponsored by Preston Castle Foundation
  • WHERE  Preston Castle, Ione - 35 miles southeast of Sacramento, CA off HWY 104 in Ione
  • WHEN:  Saturday and Sunday, December 14 and 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus Saturday evening

About Preston Castle Foundation
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 Motherlode.  It is a California State Historic Landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Mission of the Preston Castle Foundation is to preserve, rehabilitate and utilize the historic Preston Castle site.  This year they are pushing hard to obtain their own utility connections that will ultimately lead to acquiring the title to the property.  To help raise money for this important project, the Foundation sponsors several fund raising events throughout the year. 

Castle Tours are available on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, and selected Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., during the warmer weather months.  Check the website for specific dates. 

Help save the Castle and learn more about their history, events and tours by visiting prestoncastle.com.  All contributions are tax deductible.

Blog Post information and picture courtesy of Preston Castle.

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