Sadie Thompson Building

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Sadie Thompson Building
Apparently a bed and breakfast inn, in 2007
Sadie Thompson Building is located in American Samoa
Sadie Thompson Building
Location Along main road, Malaloa, American Samoa
Coordinates 14°16′35″S 170°41′35″W / 14.27639°S 170.69306°W / -14.27639; -170.69306Coordinates: 14°16′35″S 170°41′35″W / 14.27639°S 170.69306°W / -14.27639; -170.69306
Area Less than one acre
NRHP Reference # 03000582[1]
Added to NRHP July 2, 2003

The Sadie Thompson Building, on the main road in Malaloa, on the outskirts of Pago Pago, in American Samoa, has significance from 1916, when author W. Somerset Maugham stayed there for six weeks. He described it "as a 'dilapidated lodging house with a corrugated tin roof'" and complained that "he contracted 'a stubborn rash, no doubt fungus, while in the hotel in Pago Pago, and it took weeks to cure it.'".[2]

The building was subsequently the setting of his story, "Rain", published in a collection of his short stories, The Trembling of a Leaf, in 1921. Maugham was stuck in the hotel with a real person named Sadie Thompson, who reportedly had been driven from the red light district in Honolulu, and others; the story Rain and the 1928 silent film Sadie Thompson feature the conflict played out between Sadie and a sexually conservative reverend.[2]

1928 movie card

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003,[1] and has been known as the Meredith Building, as the Haleck Building, and simply as Boarding House. At the time of its NRHP listing it served as a department store on the first floor and a restaurant on its second floor.[2] It is currently used as the Sadie Thompson Inn.[3]

It is significant for association with Somerset Maugham during World War I, specifically during December 16, 1916 to January 30, 1917, the period of his stay at the hotel.[2]


See also[edit]