April 30, 2013. Yes, we are still four months behind on the blog posts from the actual date of visit.
Our MOC Rally hosts arranged for the group to have a private tour. Thanks for their hard work, it was very different and very interesting experience.
Near Ione, California, Preston School of Industry was the result of an act of the California State Legislature in 1889. The purpose of the school was to rehabilitate delinquent boys, aged 15 to 21. The first boys arrived in 1893. The boys were trained in cultivation and animal husbandry. Their work provided large portions of the food required to feed all the boys in residence. By the 1960's the school was out of the cultivation and food production business. In fact, the school building was replaced and was left to the vandals and the damage that Mother Nature can bring.
In 2001 The Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty-year lease for the property. It has "been named a California State Historical Landmark (#867) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NPS-75000422)". The building and annexes, 4 floors, plus a basement contain 46,000 square feet.
Isn't this great stuff?? The architecture was marvelous, even though most of it was a bit worn, well, sometimes more than a bit.
Heels on the shoes of the inmates were notched, so as to make tracking down any escapees easier.
A lower hallway. Much of the building was damaged, and/or stripped of anything valuable. Love the window over the doors, which can be opened for ventilation. I remember those from my grade school days, back in the middle ages.
This shows some of the extreme damage. The roof leaked and serious damage to the walls, and floors resulted.
Rooms at the end of the hallways, windows, shapes other than square rooms. My kind of architecture.
This is the infirmary.
Scratched into the slats on one of the beds.
Another room at the end of the hallway, on another floor. You can see how much of the interior has been stripped. The plaster is missing, you can see the wooden slats that would hold the plaster to the walls. Brick exterior, and again, those windows. In my mind's eye I can see this freshly plastered, painted, some comfy furniture, heavy drapes drawn back to allow the warming winter sun in. A tasty drink of choice, a good book - - - Oh, and clean windows! LOL
Would love to decorate this room!
EEEEEKKKK! NOOO, it is not a real rat, just someones dark sense of humor.
The kitchen, in the basement area. This was the kitchen of Mrs. Anna Corbin. She was a mom to many of the boys, but in 1950 she was found in the kitchen pantry area, bludgeoned to death. The boy accused of this crime was tried three times and found not guilty each time. It is said her ghost lives in the Castle.
Deep in the storage area near the kitchen, there is a memorial of sorts for Mrs. Corbin. Someone left her flowers - -
And, no, I did not see her ghost during our visit.
Original curtains, shredded from time. This photo speaks to me, whispering stories from times past, of young boys, hard times, failures and successes. Do you hear the stories too, slipping between the fabric remnants?
Oh, and there was this sign, for a gal not used to living in earthquake territory, I have to say, it is still a bit discerning. But, NOT enough to keep me outside the building and missing the tour.
The tour was interesting, the docents well versed in their subject. This is not a mansion tour like I have been on in Charleston South Carolina, nor even like Scotty's Castle in Death Valley. I did not experience Mrs. Corbin, but, there were shadows of souls everywhere in this building. So many stories, screaming to be told and retold. A very interesting day and building, have no doubt.