Although the exact building date for this adobe masonry structure is unknown, it appears to have been constructed during the 1870s for Benigno Alderete (1845-1916). Born in Ysleta (now part of El Paso), Alderete served at various times as a Texas Ranger, county commissioner, and town mayor. The residence became known as the Candelaria House after Alderete's granddaughter Ester married Alex Candelaria, whose family also had been leaders in early El Paso County history. The large "L" shaped house and courtyard originally shared the property with a corral, irrigation ditch, and agricultural field. Built with the help of the neighboring Tigua Indians, the house exhibits many examples of their construction techniques.
While Alderete's descendants continued to live in parts of the structure until 1969, other parts have been used for a variety of purposes. The house served as an outbuilding for the nearby mission, as a temporary courthouse, gristmill, school, dance hall, puppet show theatre, movie house, and county office building.
The style and usage of the Alderete-Candelaria House attest to the blending of Spanish, Indian, and American influences in the area. This cultural mix is an important part of El Paso County history.