The Mid North's most famous Georgian-styled mansion has a fascinating history and it has been collated in a new book, Martindale Hall - A true South Australian Treasure. The late Brian Morris collaborated with his brother and Martindale Hall caretakers, Michael and his wife Sharon, and produced a book to help preserve the story of the iconic property for future generations of South Australians. Brian's interest in the property began while working as a handyman at Martindale. "After nine years as the managers, we were getting a lot of questions from visitors about its history. Often the questions were similar, so Brian put together a fact sheet, which evolved into the book," Michael said. "But, people wanted to know a lot, such as if their were ghosts or other popular topics, so Brian decided to put together a book." Brian, also affectionately known as Bugs by Michael, also wanted to acknowledge the significance of the Ngadjuri people in the area. "We have put a section about the history of the Ngadjuri people because the property is on their land and they have a significant presence in the area," Michael said. "Bugs also loved taking photos, particularly of kangaroos. They are a part of the landscape at Martindale all year round, the joeys and the mothers always stay, so we put photos of them in the book, too." Martindale Hall was built in 1879 as a residence for Edmund Bowman junior before it later became the residence for William Tennant and Rosye Mortlock in 1891. The pioneering owners, the Bowman family, had pastoralism running through their blood and made significant wealth running sheep and wool operations in Van Diemen's Land, after arriving from the north of England in 1829. In about 1839, after 10 years running significant pastoral operations, Edmund senior packed up his family and moved to SA where they began cropping and running cattle, sheep, pigs and horses north of Adelaide. Edmund senior spearheaded the family's legacy across the Mid North and made the Martindale property the head station in 1845 but he was tragically killed after he drowned crossing a swollen Wakefield River on a log. He left six children, including Edmund junior, who inherited the estate in 1876 and built Martindale Hall. William Mortlock inherited old English money, the family also owned a bank, and bought house for his wife in 1891. They went on to have six children but only two survived until adulthood. John (Jack) Andrew was one of the surviving sons, who would go on to become a fundamental part of ensuring this state treasure would survive. Jack passed away at just 55 years old and left stern instructions that Martindale Hall would be left to his wife Dorothy, for the remainder of her life. It was then bequeathed to the University of Adelaide in 1965. Littered with stunning artwork acquired by Dorothy, including a 16th century painting of a volcanic eruption in the Pacific Islands, Martindale Hall has been preserved because of the dedication from the Bowman and Mortlock families. In 1986, the hall was given to the people of SA, through the state government, to ensure its preservation as a place of heritage significance. The Mortlock family are woven into the fabric of SA, the Mortlock dynasty gave away more than $5 million across 40 years and have multiple sporting ovals and, events named after them, including the Mortlock Shield in Port Lincoln. Brian Morris unfortunately never got to see the fruits of his labour, and passed away from leukemia before the book was published. But, after Flinders University took an interest in the book, after being onsite during its early stages, to digitalise Martindale artefacts, they funded the book for publishing. Michael said all of the money raised from the book, will go to the Leukemia Foundation. "They took it on board out of the kindness of their heart," Michael said. About 400 copies have been printed and so far, the interest is more than the Morris' could have hoped for. "Brian wanted the public to have an understanding of Martindale Hall that was simple but informative, and the interest has been overwhelming," Michael said. According to Michael, in Brian's words, the book was 'not a war and peace' blockbuster, it was about preserving SA history. "It gives an insight into South Australia's pastoral history and Martindale needs to be kept alive. The wish from the Morlock family was for it to remain for the people of SA and advancements of agriculture," Michael said. "In the years to come, we hope to offer even more to visitors, including a revamp which could see popup blacksmiths, knifemakers and cookery classes to keep people coming through the doors."