Sam Spade's Office – Winters, California - Atlas Obscura

Sam Spade's Office

If you dial the number in this abandoned office window "Sam Spade’s" secretary will ask you to leave a message. It gets over a call a week. 


When the owner of a building in downtown Winters, California was trying to rent out his retail space, he found himself running into trouble with the City. The City required the building be earthquake proof and also comply to current building codes, a mandate that would cost the owner over $100,000. 

Unable or unwilling to fork over such a large sum, the owner decided to rent it out anyway. His new tenant was Sam Spade—the detective sleuth from the Maltese Falcon starring Humphrey Bogart. The owner also had Mr. Spade join the Chamber of Commerce.

The window to Sam Spade’s office is best viewed at night. Internal lights within the building shine through the window and it appears as if Sam is working late at night on his latest caper. In reality there’s nothing behind the window except an abandoned space: a bare floor and some miscellaneous junk that has been collecting dust for years.

The phone number shown at the top of the window is connected to an answering machine. The number is (530) 400-8681. A woman’s voice tells the caller that Sam is currently out of the office but  “if they leave a message she will have Sam call them back when he gets in”.

The answering machine gets about five calls a month. One woman left a message asking Sam if he could find her a rich boyfriend.

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  • I can provide you with the phone number for the Chamber of Commerce, and also a phone number for the city manager.