Sunday, April 5, 2009
During the days of the gold rush, miners knew the town of Ione by the names "Bedbugs" and "Freezeout". Unlike other communities in Amador county, Ione was not founded as a mining town, it was founded as a supply center, stage, rail stop, and agricultural hub. Today, the town is home to the Mule Creek State Prison. According to the prison's website, there are 3,782 prisoners residing in the facility, well above the design capacity of 1700, and they account for well over half of Ione's population.