Us writing gals took a field trip to Ione, Ca. and toured one of the oldest reform schools in America. Built in 1894, Preston Castle housed boys as young as 12 (these ‘wards’ were taken from the Folsom and San Quentin prison systems) and some orphans as young as 7.
The place was highly self sufficient. The boys grew their own food, raised livestock, and learned trades such as blacksmithing, butchering, and baking. But tragedies abounded here. Many of the boys died from diseases, such as small pox and yellow fever. One boy was shot and killed by a guard during his 3rd escape attempt, and in the 1950’s a maid was brutally murdered.
Ghost hunters from all around visit “The Castle”, and many claim strange happenings. There were definately a few spots within that sent shivers up my spine… 😯