El Quartelejo Pueblo Ruins

See the northernmost pueblo in the United States and one of the first white settlements in Kansas: El Quartelejo Ruins.

In the 1500s a group of Taos Indians migrated to the park region. They made pueblos and grew crops using irrigation ditches dug from a nearby spring. After 20 years they went back to their homes in the south. El Quartelejo was later reoccupied in 1701 by a group of Picurie Indians for nearly two years. Around 1717, Juan Uribarri, known as Jean Iturbi, (who led the explorer, La Salle to his fatal ambush) came to El Quartelejo and opened a trading post. After 1727 the site was abandoned and left to the weather and erosion. It disappeared, leaving no trace on the Kansas plains except a slight mound and some irrigation ditches which were later used by Herbert Steele for his large truck garden.

In the mid-1890s, the pueblo ruins were found by Steele and unearthed by H.T. Martin and Prof. Williston from the university of Kansas. Then, the site was forgotten until 1925 when the Daughters of the American Revolution set up a monument there. In 1964 the El Quartelejo Ruins achieved the National Historic Landmark Status and in 1970, the Kansas historical Society excavated and restored the area. Now, you can inspect the pueblo site with its foundation reconstructed. Information is posted detailing the lives of the Indians and the features of each room in the pueblo.

rn

El Quartelejo Museum

You’ll discover the fascinating history of Scott County and its surrounding area at the El Quartelejo Museum located on the west edge of Scott City. What did prehistoric fish look like and why are their fossil bones found in Scott County? How is it that people find sharks teeth in the canyons of northern Scott County? Did mammoths and camels once roam the grasslands of this area? What is the evidence that shows people lived and hunted along Beaver Creek 10,000 years ago?

Answers to these questions and even more will be provided at the El Quartelejo Museum. Using a timeline beginning at the Creatceous period and ending with the present day, the Museum will exhibit fossils, photos, maps, antiques and articles of information to tell the surprising story of Scott County.

Additional displays include a Pueblo Indian Display, an Early Indian Camp Scene, a Pioneer Homestead, and information about the Farm and Cattle Industry.

Keystone Gallery

The Keystone Gallery is housed in the historic limestone building built in 1917 as a community church. It houses a prehistoric museum with late Cretaceous fossils from the Kansas Niobrara formation, a curio shop, featured artwork by Charles Bonner, and information about Monument Rocks.

Visitors can see everything from sharks teeth and fossil fish to flying and swimming reptiles.

Schnack Park

While you’re visiting Larned, visit Schnack Park. Take in the fresh air amid the greenery of the Park. A spacious swimming pool is also available to take away summer’s heat. Pack a lunch, view the fountain and relax in our picnic area. Ride the “Schnack Express” train for free on Sundays in Schnack Park.rn

Self Guided Auto Tour of the Santa Fe Trail

An itinerary of 73 markers placed on the five separate routes of the Santa Fe Trail in present day Pawnee, Edwards, and Ford Counties, Kansas by the Wet/Dry Routes Chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association. Those routs are: the Wet Route, three separate branches of the Dry Route, and the Fort Larned Military Road. The Locations marked were named for topographical sites, Indian engagements, campgrounds, trading ranches, stream crossings, owners on whose property wagon ruts are yet in evidence, sites with reference to where the various routes originated and merged, and campsites used by the 1825 Santa Fe Road Survey Team. Many of the sites can be viewed from the roadside.

For printed guide book, Contact the Larned Convention & Tourism Committee

Sibley’s Camp

As one of the last acts of his presidency, James Monroe signed a bill on March 3, 1825 which provided $10,000 for surveying the road and $20,000 to treat with Indians for right-of-way. On March 16, Monroe’s successor, John Quincy Adams, appointed three commissioners to oversee the survey. One of those commissioners was George C. Sibley, formerly in charge of Fort Osage, a trading post operated by the U.S. Government east of present Kansas City. Sibley’s journal and diaries provide most of what is known about the survey.

The expedition departed Fort Osage on July 17, 1825 with 42 men including two slaves and seven wagons painted light blue. Surveying as they traveled, the party arrived at Council Grove in early August where they negotiated with the Osages for right-of-way through their lands on the 10th of that month. Six days later, they conducted a similar treaty with the Kanzas near present day McPherson, Kansas. By August 30th, the survey team passed Pawnee Roek and on August 31 arrived at Pawnee Fork. Sibley’s diary entry for August 31 and September 1 reads:

At half past 10 we reached the Pawnee fork, and camped on the bank a little below file fording place, at Some large Elm Trees, having measured from the last camp 6 M[ile}s & 56 Ch[ain]s. A heavy rain fell while we were on the road. The Creek appears to he too full now to venture to cross it with the Waggons; besides the hanks require some digging at the ford. Here we have a beautiful camping place & very fine range for the Horses.

The morning cloudy and cool. Mercury 68 at 8 o ‘Clock. The Pawnee River is here about 40 yards wide, banks pretty high, bottom sandy, Water at present Muddy. Timber Elm, Ash, Elder, Cotton Tree, Willow, and Grape Vines. Yesterday I turned off from the direct course and struck the Arkansas at mouth of this River and then coursed it up about a mile to the fording place near which we are now encamped, which is just at the foot of a high rocky Hill. The path leading up from the mouth to the ford passes between the Pawnee and some Cliffs of Soft Rock upon the smooth faces of which are cut the names of many Persons, who have at different times passed this way to and from New Mexico. Some Indian marks are also to be seen on these Rocks.

rn

The site described by Sibley as "Cliffs of Soft Rock" is at the corner of Second and State Streets in Larned, Kansas. Much of the stone observed by Sibley has disappeared being quarried by early Larnedites for building material. Gone too are the many inscriptions and Indian marks of which Sibley wrote. Regardless, the site still retains its basic integrity. Undoubtedly, the location was the campsite of the survey team on August 31, 1825.

The property was purchased by the Cobb family in 1921; and two of the Cobb brothers, Leslie and Wesley lived out the balance of their lives making marked improvements to the site. Through their hard work and creativity, the old quarry site strewn with rubble and debris was transformed into a garden spot.

In 1995, the site was purchased by three Larned citizens who have proposed to restore the property to its pre-century appearance and preserve this little piece of real estate as Sibley’s Camp.

rn