The collection consists of papers of Margaret Davis Cate from 1890-1964. The papers include correspondence; printed material; research notes pertaining to the history of Sea Island, St. Simons Island, and Ft. Frederica, Georgia; photographs; and ledgers (1926-1935) containing information about her poultry business. Of particular interest is correspondence between Cate and fellow historians including E.M. Coulter and Kenneth Colemen; correspondence with archaeologist Charles Fairbanks relating to the preservation of Ft. Frederica; and letters between Cate, John Marsh, and Margaret Mitchell Marsh. The collection also contains records relating to Cate's personal genealogical research.
Margaret Davis Cate (1888-1961), a woman of many careers, was credited for developing historical interest that led to designation of Ft. Frederica as a national monument. A native of Brunswick, she taught school here before being married to the late Dr. G.V. Cate. After his death, she became postmaster of Sea Island, serving until retirement in 1958. She also headed the Glynn County Planning Board during the period when it established areas of natural beauty in which sign boards are prohibited, a step which has brought national recognition. She pioneered in the raising of chickens and turkeys here and also served on the board of education, headed the city planning commission and led the Glynn County Board of Public Welfare for 10 years. She devoted almost a lifetime of effort in the field of history with special emphasis on the Oglethorpe area and Ft. Frederica. She was long-time vice president of the Georgia Historical Society and most historical markers set out by the state and private groups in the coastal area were placed upon her advice. She was the author of several books of history and numerous articles. She was first president of the Glynn County League of Women Voters and a former president of the Brunswick Women's Club. Since 1928 she had lectured at the Cloister Hotel on Sea Island on the history of the area. The Atlanta Constitution, published 11/30/1961.