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.