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In 1777, Juan Candelaria recalled that the eighteenth-century settlement of Cieneguilla took place in 1698. It was four leagues from Santa Fé and was watered by the Río de Santa Fé (Armijo 1929:282-283).
In 1776 Fray Domínguez wrote that two roads went down from Quemado like a V and led to two settlements or ranchos, both of which were to the southwest. They were two leagues apart and about five leagues from Santa Fé. The higher settlement was called Cieneguilla; it was in a canyon that came down from San Ildefonso Springs where it met the channel of the Santa Fé River. There were a number of springs a little 186 below this settlement, which he thought were a resurgence of the Santa Fé River. These springs ran west in little ravines (Adams and Chávez 1956:41).
Morfi's 1782 description of New Mexico portrayed "La Ciénegilla" as a ranch four leagues west of Santa Fé on the banks of the Santa Fé River. Nine Spanish families resided at Cieneguilla (Thomas 1932:93).
Pike's 4 March 1807 description of his route south out of the capital is rather vague but as interpreted in 1895 by Elliot Coues it forked near Agua Fria. The left fork met the Santa Fé River at the town of Cieneguilla and then followed it to La Bajada (Coues 1895:II.613-614).
In December 1846, Abert nearly lost his life and then his mule when he attempted a shortcut across some marshy land at Cieneguilla. Only the fact that much of the ground was frozen allowed him to escape and to save the mule (Abert 1962:139).