Until 1901, the main settlements within the Township of Morley were Boucherville and the original town of Rainy River a few miles west, both situated along the Rainy River itself. The town of Beaver Mills later took the name Rainy River. In 1901 the Canadian Northern Railway came to the area roughly two miles north of the settlement of Boucherville. An immediate move was made to establish a town-site close to the railway station. Railroad officials named the new town Stratton after J. R. Stratton, a provincial secretary. Stratton quickly became the business centre of both the Morley and Pattullo townships. In 1903, Morley Municipality, an amalgamation of these two townships, was formed, and Stratton became the seat of administration.
The history of Morley covers a little more than one hundred years, but is the story of courage, vision and hard work. Morley Township was formed in 1879 and named after the Honourable John Morley. The promise of free land on which to build a new home and a new life lured many people to this area. At first, nearly all the newcomers were from southern Ontario - English, Irish and Scots. They found the land rich in virgin timber with only Indian trails through the bush.
The Long Sault Indian Reserve was on the east side. It was once the site of an Ojibway Village, a favourite meeting place for the tribe, coming from each direction. Only the burial mounds remain to tell of their former importance. Many of the Indians sickened and died, and the survivors were moved to the Manitou Reserve. Most of the new settlers travelled by train to Rat Portage (Kenora) and then on wood burning steamers through Lake of the Woods to the Rainy River. The Edna Bridges, the Agwinda and the Kenora were a few of these boats. The settlers brought their furniture and their livestock with them. These boats also brought supplies of food and mail. When they came to the rapids at Long Sault and Manitou, the Indians hauled them over with ropes. They were paid with bags of flour. The settlers sold wood to the boats to fire the boilers. The first homesteads were laid out in lots along the river front.
In 1901 the Canadian Northern Railway was completed linking the west with the east. The hamlet of Stratton was born. It was named after J.R. Stratton, Provincial Secretary. The streets were laid out and the main Street was called Strathcona. In 1903 the Municipality of Morley, combining Morley and Pattullo Townships, came into being. Mr. Boucher was the first Reeve and Fred Watts the Clerk-Treasurer. Mr. Guy Gamsby was clerk for over fifty years, retiring in 1958. His son, Fred carried on until his death in 1976. In the thirties, many families of European origin settled on the many unclaimed homesteads. They quickly became part of the community adding their skills and culture to the pattern of living. Later came the Dutch who now operate successful dairy farms. In the sixties, many of the local farms were bought by Mennonites from Mexico and Manitoba. And so we have become a multicultural society working and playing together in harmony.
In 2004, the unincorporated townships of Sifton and Dewart were added to the boundaries of The Corporation of the Township of Morley.
Stratton United Church
Christian Fellowship Chapel
Our Lady of the Way Catholic Church - -located in Pinewood, ON (approx 11km to the west)