Library honors Charles Emery Cate

The exhibit in honor of Charles Emery Cate had a ribbon cutting to mark the official opening. The exhibit features photos of Cate and his wife, along with numerous documents regarding their life.
Riana Braselman/The Lion's Roar

On January 30 descendants of Charles Emery Cate and Southeastern officials cut a ribbon on to mark the official opening of the Charles Emery Cate Exhibit located on the first floor of the Sims Memorial Library. 

Cate was one of the early developers of the City of Hammond and “one of the most important citizens in the development of the city,” according to Southeastern President John L. Crain. 

The exhibit includes photos, writings, and artifacts donated by the Cate family. Professor Emeritus of History Howard Nichols said Cate moved to the north shore in 1853, purchased large tracts of land, and established several businesses, including a lumber mill, grist mill and a shoe manufacturing plant, all of which were destroyed by Union forces during the Civil War. Following the war, he reinvested in another sawmill and opened a brickyard, while encouraging businessmen to migrate to the area and establish operations. The history of the exhibit is based on Charles Emery Cate, one of the early developers of Hammond. 

Cate’s great-great-great-great-grandchild Emery Cate Reymond had the privilege of cutting the rope. 

Library Director Eric Johnson discussed how he felt about the new historic Cate Exhibit

“I’m delighted that we have the beautiful Cate Exhibit in the Library,” said Johnson. “Charles Emery Cate was a driving force in the creation of what is now the city of Hammond, and it’s fitting that the Cate Family memorabilia reside in a library that houses the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies. I hope that students will visit the exhibit and learn more about the history of our city.”

In 1859, Cate moved his family from New Orleans to Hammond, which was named after his friend Peter Hammond, because of the city’s abundant and  different resources and the city rapidly began to grow. Among his many ventures, Cate owned a shoe factory during the Civil War that made and shipped shoes to the Confederate Army. His factory sent nearly 45,000 shoes to the soldiers before it was destroyed by Union forces.

The exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon on Friday.


A bust of Charles Emery Cate is now on display in the library. Cate moved from New Orleans to Hammond in 1859 when the city of Hammond began to grow rapidly.
Riana Braselman/The Lion's Roar