Statement of Significance (as of designation - July 19, 1964):
This archeological district consists of more than 20 sites, mostly associated with the Dismal River/Plains Apache culture, dating from ca. A.D. 1650 to 1750. The principal site is a pueblo ruin thought to have been built by Taos Indians who sought refuge with the Apache during times of trouble with the Spanish. It is the northeasternmost example of a pueblo in the country. The site also illustrates Spanish explorations in the Plains that predates those of Americans by many decades. El Cuartelejo is within the boundaries of Lake Scott State Park.