Over a century ago in 1890, the large 230 acres of land on which Preston Castle is built was bought from a Coal and Iron Company. The company paid a princely sum of $30 per acre, where 100 acres were also given as a donation. The land was bought in order to build the new development for the Preston School of Industry. The development of the school was labeled one of the most progressive movements of its time, in that its goal was to rehabilitate juvenile offenders rather than simply offering a space for their imprisonment. A railway link was used to deliver 6,000 bricks per railway carriage for production in the Folsom and San Quentin prisons. The bricks were produced using local sandstone only 6 miles away from the prison. The cornerstone was placed in December 1890 with an assembled crowd of approximately 2,500 people attending. The plans for the new building were very ambitious, with plans for 77 rooms to be created across its five floors. The plans included spaces for living, bathing, education and office rooms. The Preston School of Industry officially opened on July 1st, 1984 and stayed open until 1960, when newer facilities replaced the older building.
Today, the Preston Castle Tours provide the opportunity for visitors to see what the establishment might have been like in the past. Public tours run on the first three Saturdays of each month between April and September each year, with no reservation required. Intrepid explorers may be interested in an overnight stay in the Preston Castle to look for signs of “ghostly activity”, which take place on a regular basis in partnership with the Paranormal Research Group. For brave adventurers and knowledge seekers visiting Jackson CA, don’t miss this valuable opportunity to request for a public tour! Full details are available via the Preston Castle website for your convenience.