Ione Rotary President, Terry Sanders, chose creating and installing new, Welcome to Ione, signs as his annual community improvement project using Rotary District 5190's matching funds grant program. Ione Rotary was joined by the Ione Business and Community Association to provide both money and labor to see this project completed.
Charter Ione Rotary Club members Jake Herfel, left and Rick Kreth, on the boom truck, assist Amador Steel employees with the final installation and welding of the first of two signs welcoming visitors to Ione. Local artist, Lucy Hackett, not shown here, has included images of Ione's three historical economic drivers: railroad, ranching and Preston School for Boys in her design. As lignite coal deposits near Pittsburg and Antioch, CA were mined out in the late 1860's and early '70's the Central Pacific Railroad built a line into Carbondale near Ione, initially to haul lignite and later expended to include clay, clay products, glass sand, timber and rock. The areas large ranches, including the 60,000 acre Rancho Arroyo Seco Grant, provided hides, tallow and beef to California's growing population beginning in the late 1840's. The California Youth Authority choose Ione for it's second State facility to house and train boys and young men who had been in trouble with the law. Preston Castle was constructed from brick made of Ione Clay's and provided employment to 420 area families until closed in October of 2010.
Ione Rotary Charter Members Jake Herfel above and Rick Kreth
below have recently been given the Club's "Service above Self"
award for their ceaseless efforts, over the past 30 years, to a
improve their community. Two of these signs are being erected
on entry routes to Ione with the help and financial support of the
Ione Business and Community Association. Rick Kreth, pictured below,
has been President of that organization for the last 5 years.