Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Amador County, California
Chamber of Commerce.
Though born during the 1849 gold rush times, Ione was not a mining town, but a supply center and rail stop. At that time, the community was known as Bedbug and Freezeout. The name of Ione was given by Thomas Brown and said to have come from one of the characters in the drama, The Last Days of Pompeii by Lytton.
As time went on, Ione continued to grow and prosper with many businesses opening including a flour mill in 1855 and the first brick building in 1855. By 1876 there were about 600 residents in Ione. A Chinatown area included about 100 Chinese residents. 1876 marked the beginning of a long tradition in Ione of the Ione Homecoming. It is held during May each year and has been held almost every year since 1876.
Dave Brubeck, the famous jazz pianist, was born in Ione and in 1998 scored a video tour of the castle called "A Castle's Song", sold through KVIE to help fund the restoration efforts.
This castle was built between 1890 and 1894. It was officially known as the Preston School of Industry and served as a school for young people referred there by the court system. There are efforts to restore the castle though the grounds are not generally open to the public. There are, however, a number of places in the city where good views of the Castle are possible. Tours may be periodically scheduled to tour the castle. Interior photos may be seen at the Amador Country Film Commission website.
A great local park with sports fields, play areas, snack bars, a community center, trails, picnic grounds and much more including the Ed Hughes Memorial Arena.
Mule Creek State Prison is located in the community. Adjacent to Mule Creek is the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Training Academy, which trains staff from all over California, as well as the Preston Youth Correctional Facility (formerly the Preston School of Industry). According to the Mule Creek State Prison website, there are 3,782 prisoners residing in the facility, well above the design capacity of 1,700, and they account for nearly half of Ione's population.
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The number of housing units was:
2000 - 1,155
Median household income:
2000 - $ 40,625
2005 - $ 47,500
Median house value:
2000 - $ 132,400
2005 - $ 280,500
Ione is located in the Pacific Time Zone and does participate in daylight savings time during a portion of the year.