Dresden Files

Burnham Harbor[Footnote 1] is the harbor in Chicago on Lake Michigan where Thomas Raith parks his boat, the Water Beetle. The Harbor's first big scene is in Death Masks.


Burnham Aerial view w City

Burnham Aerial view with Cityscape

Harry Dresden describes the Burnham Harbor as looking like the "parking lot of an oceangoing Wal-Mart. It seems large enough to hold a football field or three. Vessels of many varieties were tied to white warves that stretched out over the water. The lake smelled like dead fish, algae and motor oil.[1]

Dresden had a key to the Harbor docks, which he may have lost when he was shot and drowned in Lake Michigan.[2]

In the series[]

Death Masks[]

Burnham-Field, Soldier Fld, Shedd

In Death Masks, Harry Dresden goes to the harbor to investigate the Estranger, a ship that he suspects implicated in the whereabouts of the thieves of the Shroud of Turin. While confronting Anna Valmont and Francisca Garcia, the Denarian called Deirdre Archleone shows up in an attempt to take the Shroud from them, killing Garcia sinking the Estranger in the process. Anna Valmont takes off with the Shroud.[3]

White Night[]

Marine-burnham harbor-boats up close

In White NightHarry Dresden's brother, Thomas Raith, uses the Water Beetle to shelter and move practitioners to safety. Some of them are members of the Ordo Lebes. While Dresden and Elaine Mallory are investigating the whereabouts of Olivia, they are attacked by many ghouls. Dresden draws the heat from Lake Michigan causing ice to form so the women and children can escape from the boat under siege over the ice to a far dock.[4]

Small Favor[]

Promontory Point-Burnham Park, Northerly View

In Small FavorHarry Dresden wakes up on the Water Beetle parked in the harbor (unnamed) after his confrontation with the Denarians on Demonreach. Thomas Raith walks him out to his Hummer where he has coffee waiting. Next to the coffee there is a white paper bag containing a cake doughnut with sprinkles—from Eldest Gruff—Dresden just gives his brother a cryptic smile, making him complain that Dresden doesn't even explain the small surf. Dresden just enjoys the doughnut.[5]

Turn Coat[]

In Turn Coat, the harbor is mentioned only as the "marina" when Harry Dresden takes Donald Morgan and Molly Carpenter there to take the Water Beetle out to Demonreach to do a Sanctum invocation.[6] And then again to set their trap for the real killer and Council traitor.[7]


In ChangesHarry Dresden is shot on the Water Beetle and drowns in the Harbor's waters.[8]

Cold Days[]

In Cold Days, Harry Dresden had lost his key to the Harbor gates that lead to where the Water Beetle is docked. He uses his new strength to bend it so that he and Molly Carpenter could enter. Their plan is to take the Water Beetle to Demonreach to find out why a it's about to explode and determine how to stop it. They find Thomas Raith on the boat and he takes them there.[2] Returning from Demonreach, they are attacked by Redcap and his gang of Sidhe on jet skis.[9]



  1. Death Masks, ch. 12
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cold Days, ch. 14
  3. Death Masks, ch. 12-14
  4. White Night, ch. 20 & 21
  5. Small Favor, ch. 46
  6. Turn Coat, ch. 35
  7. Turn Coat, ch. 38
  8. Changes, ch. 49
  9. Turn Coat, ch. 18

See also[]

External references[]