Ione is located in the Ione Valley. The valley was named Ione before a town was started here, by Thomas Brown, who was a great reader. He was reading a historical romance of Bulwer, entitled "The Last days of Pompeii", one of whose heroines was a very beautiful young girl named Ione. By one of those happy thoughts, it occurred to him that Ione was a most appropriate name for this valley.
It was named first Bedbug, then Freezeout. Finally a meeting was called to decide on a name; a few were in favor of Wooster, but majority were in favor of naming it after the valley, so it was christened Ione City. Unlike other communities in Amador County, which were founded on gold mining, Ione was a supply center, stage and rail stop and agricultural hub.
After the completetion of the Methodist Church being built in 1862, a celebration was held the same day. Thomas Fitch, the celebrated orator, being the speaker. A circus amoung other events, and fireworks concluded the days event. This being the beginning of the centennial celebration which also celebrated the completion of the railroad to the town of Ione. The centennial celebration was the beginning of what is now known as the Ione Homecoming.
This annual celebration has been held during the month of May almost every year since that first Centennial celebration in 1876 and is now held on the first weekend in May every year. The City of Ione was incorporated as a General Law City in 1953.
This photo showing Ione's Main Street in 1890
Straddling the boundary lines between Amador, Sacramento, and San jaoaquin Counties is a large, open tract of land covered by rolling hills that give away to flatlands to the west.
This sparsely inhabited expanse is all that remains of what is know as Rancho Arroyo Seco, which began as a bogus Spanish land grant. This grant included a larger part of this valley which, like Ione Valley, was a great sufferer, though not to tbe same extent as much of the land had been purchased of the first claimants, in 1857. Some of the principal sufferers were Calvin Cole, Patrick and Wm. Sculley, Chas. Black,- Strobridge, and Samuel Deardorff.