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When the Spanish first arrived, the Santa Clara Indians referred to the area by a Tewa name, P\'o\'karige, meaning cold water place. The cold springs served as the impetus for area settlement. The 1766 plano drawn by José de Urrutia demonstrates the physical layout of the Villa de Santa Fé. Juan Candelaria remembered that Cristóbal Baca settled Quemado in 1730. Candelaria placed it one and one quarter league from the capital and added that it was irrigated from the Rìo de Santa Fé (Armijo 1929:284-286). In 1776 Fray Domínguez wrote that Quemado was one league west and at the very outskirts of Santa Fé. It was an Indian pueblo in the old days and had this name because it was purposely burned. The settlement near this place was later called Agua Fria. The burned pueblo was excavated after the Santa Fé River laid part of it bare (Adams and Chávez 1956:41).
When Pike left Santa Fé under Spanish escort on 4 March 1807, he followed a road which took the high ground between the Rìo de Santa Fé and Arroyo Hondo. Just past Agua Fria it forked, with both forks eventually reaching La Bajada and the Rìo Grande (Coues 1895:II.613-614). Years later, when Wislizenus prepared to leave Santa Fé for Chihuahua on 8 July 1846, he met the caravan that he was traveling with at their camp in Agua Fria. From there, the caravan took "the usual road, by Algodones, for the Rìo Grande" (Wislizenus 1848:29).