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Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

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Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings


Location: Scott County, west of U.S. 83 within the boundaries of Scott County State Park, 12 miles north of Scott City.

Ownership and Administration. Kansas State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Significance. This is one of the key sites indicating the far-reaching expansion of Spain beyond New Mexico and her interest in the Great Plains. It consists of the ruins of a seven-room, stone Puebloan structure, probably built by a group of Picuris Indians who in 1696 emigrated from New Mexico to live with the Cuartelejo Apaches. As early as the 1660's, friction between the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and the Spanish rulers and priests had caused groups of Indians to migrate to El Cuartelejo.

Spanish expeditions under Archuleta (pre-1680 Pueblo Revolt) and Ulibarri (1706) probably came to El Cuartelejo to return groups of Indians to New Mexico. In 1719, Governor Valverde led an expedition northeast from Santa Fe, visited the Cuartelejo Apaches, and learned from them of French penetration into the Plains. As a result, in 1720, the Spanish sent out the Villasur expedition, which passed through El Cuartelejo but was destroyed later by the Pawnees in Nebraska.

Archeological excavation of the site has produced only a few artifacts of Southwestern origin. The pueblo ruin and its typically Southwestern appurtenances—slab-lined hearths, grinding trough, oven, and the like—were directly associated with a material culture complex that was almost entirely Plains Apache. Either the Puebloans stayed in the area only a short time, or they readily adapted themselves to the everyday implements and utensils of the local residents.

Present Appearance. The site has been well preserved, but traces of the pueblo ruin are rather obscure, as would be expected because of climatic factors and the passage of time. [20]

NHL Designation: 07/19/64

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Last Updated: 22-Mar-2005