The theme of the El Quartelejo Museum is a developing story line, one which traces the history of this region of western Kansas through the stories told by the fossil discoveries on exhibit to present day Scott County information. Visitors can choose to either follow the story line, or simply browse in areas which are of interest to them. Separate displays are set up in several different rooms, and rotating exhibits change often. Appeal for both adults and children has been achieved. Exhibits allow youngsters to touch and even “dig” for their own fossils. Two distinct areas of the museum house local Indian and Pioneer History, while a third room has antique farm machinery, along with horse-drawn buggies from the early 1900s. A major addendum to the facility occurred in 2010: The Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection, containing the work of nationally recognized Wildlife and Western Artist, Jerry Thomas.
The historical record of Scott County, Kansas dates back approximately 85 million years, when an immense sea covered the region. Between prehistory and present day lies a “time line” which tells of the Paleoindians, dating back roughly 12,000 years ago, the native Americans who made Scott County their home 700-1000 years ago, and the Cuartelejo Apache who once lived in the area now called Lake Scott State Park.
The El Quartelejo regional history line may be divided into three categories :
Geology: Featuring this area's famous rock and fossil formations.
Prehistoric: Focused on the American Indian before there is written documentation.
Euro-American: Regional history since the late 19th century.