IONE, Calif. (CBS13) — An Ione group hopes to revive a castle used more than a century ago as a detention compound for troubled kids as a museum and tourist attraction.

The Preston Castle is a visual icon for the small town, even though it has been left to crumble since the 1960s.

The stone and wood corridors once held hundreds of teen convicts and have been the site of a number of reported ghost sightings.

Andy Aguilera claims to hear spirits from boys who stayed here and from a housekeeper who was killed by the inmates.

“There’s a lady, I never seen her but she said hello to me,” Aguilera said.

When demolition crews were finally contracted to tear the walls down, they found a surprising history behind the rotting wood doors. Preston Castle Foundation President Marie Nutting says she hopes to raise enough money to make all four floors structurally sound and open it up as a museum.

All of the wood is in bad shape, and the group will need millions of dollars and years of effort to repair the roof, floors, walls and halls.

The group is looking for votes to receive a $25,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Everything initiative.


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