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Hammett's army days

"Dashiell Hammett Place"

Hammett's Post Street
A photo tour (2005)
a landmark (2005)

The Flood Building

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This site is dedicated to all the people like Don Herron, Bill Arney, Richard Layman, William F. Nolan, Josephine Hammett Marshall, Julie M. Rivett, Steven Marcus, Joe Gores and others who have kept 1920s San Francisco in the here and now.

Special thanks to
Vince Emery for his many helpful contributions to this website.

Entire website copyright 2003, 2004 & 2005 by Mike Humbert.

March 19, 2005
Enthusiastic fans jammed the sidewalk in front of this Post Street apartment building where Dashiell Hammett lived in the 1920s. Friends of Libraries USA had officially declared the site a national literary landmark.
Don Herron, longtime guide of the Dashiell Hammett Tour, acted as master of ceremonies, entertaining the crowd with Hammett anecdotes.
Bill Arney, current resident of Hammett's old apartment, once took Don Herron's tour, where he first saw Hammett's apartment.  Years later, he noticed the apartment was for rent, and jumped at the chance to live in it. In the intervening years, he has spent hundreds of man-hours restoring the tiny flat to its 1920s glory.
Jo Hammet Marshall (also known as the "high priestess of the Hammett cult") was on hand for the ceremony honoring her father's former dwelling.  Also on hand was Jo's daughter Julie Rivett and several other Hammett family members.
Legendary mystery writer Joe Gores (author of Hammett, among many other titles) explained how he originally tracked down exactly which building and which apartment was Hammett's. Standing next to him was noted Hammett scholar Richard Layman, who was a driving force in putting the entire celebration together.
The new plaque on the front of the building.
Sally Reed, executive director of Friends of Libraries USA, graciously provided some of these photos.
Hammett family members and friends stand in the small apartment that once was occupied bythe author of The Maltese Falcon.
The festivities then moved to John's Grill on Ellis Street, where Sam Spade dined on chops, baked potato and sliced tomatoes in the novel.  The by-invitation luncheon was held on the third floor, behind those large curtained windows.  Directly next to John's is the Ellis Street entrance to the James Flood Building, where Hammett once worked as a Pinkerton detective.
John's Grill calls the third floor dining room "Hammett's Den."
Detective David Fechheimer went into the sleuth business based largely on his admiration for Hammett's works.  He is today one of the the most highly respected private investigators in the business.  He also pioneered much of the earliest Hammett scholarship back in the 1970s.
Mystery writer John Billheimer's books are set in rural West Virginia, where he grew up.  Also in attendance was writer/editor/publisher Vince Emery.