April 20, 1904- It was a Wednesday night, at approximately 10:00 p.m. when the night watchman in the boys dormitory upstairs in the Castle appeared for his shift. He hadn't been on duty for more than fifteen minutes when he decided to quickly use the restroom while the boys were supposed to be in bed. When night watchman J.S. Phillips returned from the bathroom he noticed that two of the wards, Rowe and Gillette, were up at the water fountain (to the right of the door) getting themselves a drink.
|side of the Castle|
Once the boys had completely incapacitated the watchman, they climbed out the window of the dormitory and down the water pipe alongside the castle's brick walls. Barefoot and in their pajamas, the boys immediately separated upon reaching the outskirts of the Preston property. Rowe headed out west and was caught the next day near Carbondale, California (which used to be about six miles northwest of Ione). However, Gillette went east towards Jackson, causing a big ruckus along the way.
While on the lam, Gillette headed down Ione Road and decided to break into the Cuneo residence. There he stole a change of clothing as well as a shotgun. When he was done scavenging through the Cuneo's personal belongings he then retreated off into the night.
|Kennedy Mine, Jackson CA|
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Amador Ledger (4/22/1904, 4/29/1904)