Ste-Marie, Qué, Town, pop 11 320 (2001c), 10 966 (1996c), 10 513 (1991cA), 9536 (1986c), area 107.20 km2, inc 1855, is located on the Rivière CHAUDIÈRE. Situated on lowlands suitable for agriculture, it was built on part of the seigneury given in 1736 to Thomas-Jacques Taschereau. It was inhabited by colonists from the Beaupré shore and from ÎLE D'ORLÉANS. Ste-Marie is one of the oldest settlements in the Beauce region, having celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1994.
During the 19th century, Ste-Marie retained its agricultural importance, but progressively became a regional service centre as the construction of the Québec Central railway sparked the development and settlement of its hinterland. From 1880 to 1940, the wood industry was a major part of its economy. The town now has prosperous industries in the food sector and in metalworking.