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This article focuses on the harbor.
For the shipyard, see Storybrooke Shipyard.
For the cannery, see Storybrooke Cannery.
He loves to watch boats at the harbor.
Robin Hood to Zelena, under Marian's appearance. src

The Storybrooke Harbor is a Storybrooke location on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the eleventh episode of the first season.[1]


During First Curse

In the town of Storybrooke, Leroy wants to help a nun, Astrid sell enough candles for the annual Miner's Day festival to earn back the convent's rent money, after she accidentally bought the wrong amount of helium and spent the convent's entire budget. Despite his and Mary Margaret's efforts to attract customers at the booth, everyone stays away due to both of their less-than-savory reputations. Leroy, notorious for his drinking habit, and Mary Margaret, recently facing scandal for having an affair with a married man, decide to sell door-to-door, but end up facing the same rejection.

In an alternative plan, Leroy tries to negotiate the selling of his own boat with Mr. Gold for the exact amount the nuns need, but it doesn't work out as planned. Instead, Mr. Gold offers a lower price and cares little if the nuns are forced out of their home because of late rent pay. After he is gone, Leroy heads back into the boat in frustration. He is greeted by a surprise visit from Astrid, who delivers him a baked pie as thanks for his continued assistance. Wishing to impress her, Leroy reassures that everything has been sold, but she discovers the truth by uncovering the hidden boxes of candles near the boat. Astrid expresses disappointment in his lie, to which Leroy himself guiltily admits that she trusted the wrong man. Suffering a setback, Leroy is down in the dumps until fulfilling a crazy idea to give the townspeople just cause to buy candles. He does so by cutting the electrical light circuits, at which, the people of Storybrooke swarm to Leroy and Mary Margaret's booth to pay for candles until they are all sold out. Happily, Leroy gives all of the money to a pleased Astrid. ("Dreamy")

In the midst of Kathryn's disappearance, David, her husband, is a suspect until incriminating proof is found that Mary Margaret, coincidentally also the woman he had an affair with, is involved. Though Sheriff Emma Swan doesn't believe Mary Margaret harmed anyone, she is forced to follow proceedings in the investigation and book her in the jail holding cell. At the docks, Emma is browsing Henry's storybook when August approaches and hands her the latest edition of the newspaper, which has front page news about the murder charges. Emma is upset every time she tries to follow a lead, it ends up being a dead end and that her "super-power" instincts simply don't work anymore. August exemplifies his own situation when he gets writer's block and how going back to the beginning of an idea usually helps him to progress forward with a new perspective. He asks Emma what were her thoughts at the beginning of the investigation, which she states was about a missing person. He acknowledges it's now become a murder and then a cover-up and suggests had she known all this at the time, her approach to the situation would have been different. His words strike inspiration in her and Emma, with August, hurries back to the Toll Bridge where the evidence linking Mary Margaret to Kathryn was found. ("The Stable Boy")

After First Curse

After the Dark Curse is broken and all residents of Storybrooke regain their Enchanted Forest memories, Jefferson, while at the dock, contemplates reuniting with his daughter Grace when Henry arrives to convince him to go to her. ("Lady of the Lake")

While the first curse-free full moon approaches, Ruby is unable to find her cloak, which when worn, keeps her from transforming into a wolf. To keep from running loose during the transformation, Granny assists in making an escape proof freezer for Ruby to spend the evening in. Unexpectedly, Ruby wakes up the next morning in the forest with no recollection of anything from the prior night, she hopes for the worst. This suspicion appears to ring true when she, temporary sheriff David and Granny find Billy's dead body torn to pieces on the pavement of the docks. After some sleuthing, David and Granny come across Albert's car with a bloody weapon and Ruby's cloak inside. In actuality, Albert wanted to frame Ruby for the crime in order to call David's credibility as sheriff into question; knowing all too well he wouldn't be able to resist defending a friend rather than giving the townspeople "justice". ("Child of the Moon")

In a surprise arrival, Cora and Hook journey to Storybrooke aboard the Jolly Roger and sail to the docks. As Hook disembarks off the ship, he wishes to go separate ways from Cora and skin a "crocodile". She deters Hook from the mission since there is magic in town, meaning Mr. Gold is capable of using his powers, and it would be foolish to confront him alone. To keep the ship out of sight at the harbor, she shields it with magic. Nearby, a fisherman, who witnessed what she did, walks up to comment on the feat in amazement. In the next moment, Cora transfigures him into a flopping fish, which Hook promptly kicks into the water.

To become a better mother to Henry, Regina willingly attends therapy at Archie's office to weed out her compulsive need for magic. Nonetheless, she is extremely upset to learn Archie told Emma about their sessions and confronts him at the docks for divulging the information. On a morning run, Ruby sees what is going on and jogs up to intervene, but Regina snaps at her to butt out. Regina leaves Archie with a last word, threatening that he's lucky she has given up magic, or his fate would be much worse. Coincidentally, Cora uses the situation to her advantage and that night, masquerades as Regina going into Archie's office while Ruby, once again, is a witness. When Archie is discovered dead in his office the very next morning, Ruby uses what she saw last night as reasonable cause that Regina must have killed him. However, the real Archie is imprisoned by Cora on the Jolly Roger for Hook to use in extracting information about the town. ("The Cricket Game")

In the library, Belle is instigated by Hook and forced to flee into the elevator. While she calls Mr. Gold for help and the pawnshop is left vacant, William Smee, Hook's accomplice, sneaks in and steals a shawl. Furious at the theft, Mr. Gold later goes off to confront him and hands a gun to Belle so she can defend herself if necessary. She finds a knot in the library that Hook left behind and discovers, from reading a book, it is a type of knot used on a ship.

Heading to the docks, Belle looks around, but sees nothing resembling a ship until spotting a seagull perching on something invisible in the sky. She uses sand to outline the steps onto the ship and enters a barrier onto the deck. Browsing around on the lower floor, she frees a trapped Archie and urges him to notify Mr. Gold. Then, she begins searching for the shawl and sets down the gun in distraction, but Hook shows up triumphantly holding the item. He grabs Belle's gun and pushes it against her temple, but does not fire. Instead, he tells her the truth about Mr. Gold's cruelty in killing Milah. Even so, Belle trusts that Mr. Gold has changed from the person he used to be and hits Hook by dropping a rowing paddle from the ceiling onto his head. She takes the cloak and runs above deck, though Hook is arrives earlier and blocks her path. Mr. Gold ascends the ship to give Hook a physical beat-down that leaves him bloody and bruised. As proof that he changed from his old self, Belle pleads for him to stop and leave with her. He concedes, and together, they depart from the docks. ("The Outsider")

In a drunken stupor, Dr. Whale is overwhelmed while on the job at the hospital, especially with his Enchanted Forest memories bringing back much guilt about past deeds. Unable to take it anymore, he throws away his responsibilities as a doctor and runs away towards the docks to commit suicide. Ruby, who has been sniffing him out with her sense of wolf smell, rushes to catch him just in time. After pulling him up, Dr. Whale admits that he has always wanted his name to stand for life, but instead, everybody associates the name Frankenstein with a monster. While magic does come with a price, he believes science comes with a price as well. Ruby shares her own past life burdens, but is certain that they have a chance to start anew and he should take it as there is still time for him to do good. ("In the Name of the Brother")

After forcing Hook to show them the way to his ship, David, Leroy and Mary Margaret are presented with a caged sleeping giant, who was brought as a prisoner to Storybrooke by Cora. As they let him out, the giant goes into a rage once he sets his eyes on David and attacks them. The giant denounces him for killing his family, which is later discovered to be a misunderstanding, since David's twin brother is the actual culprit. ("Tiny")

Grievously injured by Hook in New York, Mr. Gold is brought back to Storybrooke while Henry and Neal captain the Jolly Roger towards the dock. Once there, David, Mary Margaret and Ruby help to haul Mr. Gold onto a truck. Mary Margaret is increasingly worried about Regina's mother, Cora, who wants to use the dagger and manipulate Mr. Gold into killing everyone. She considers the only option is to murder Cora before any more people are harmed, but David insists against it. While Ruby takes care of Henry, Emma and the others ride to the pawnshop with Mr. Gold. ("The Miller's Daughter")

Surprised with news of her parents' desire to return to the Enchanted Forest with viable magic beans, Emma is left unsure if she, too, wants to go with them. Pondering this over at the dock, she flips through the storybook when Regina approaches to talk about recently discovering Mr. Gold's bloodline connection to Henry. Emma confirms she was going to tell her eventually, but was too busy trying to stop Cora. Regina dislikes that her son's biological father, Neal, is staying in town for Henry. Annoyed, Emma asks her to stop worrying about everyone else and instead focus on becoming a better person for Henry's sake before she loses him for good. Perplexed, Regina wonders what that means, but Emma refuses to say, so she vows to find out. ("Lacey")

During the evening, David and Mary Margaret sit quietly at the dock while discussing what to do about Regina once they leave for the Enchanted Forest. Nearby, Regina, disguised as an old fisherman, eavesdrops. David believes it to too dangerous to bring her along with them, but Mary Margaret knows that despite everything, she is still Henry's mother. Her husband insists that with all the chances they've given her, she hasn't changed. He suggests giving Regina an ultimatum to either stay in Storybrooke or be jailed in the Enchanted Forest. Out of sight, Regina reverts out of her disguise. ("The Evil Queen")

Kidnapped by conspirators Greg and Tamara, Regina taken near the dock into a cannery where she is strapped to a table and subjected to electrocution torture. Greg grills her on his missing father's whereabouts, but Regina denies knowing anything. With the aid of a magical implement from Mr. Gold, Mary Margaret is able to sense and feel out Regina's location. Though Tamara warns that there are people closing in on the cannery, Greg still refuses to leave until gaining an answer from Regina, so she leaves alone. Finally, she admits having killed Kurt a long time ago. David and Mary Margaret nearly apprehend him, but he escapes while they check on Regina. ("Second Star to the Right")

In an elaborate plan to reach their actual target, Greg and Tamara activate a trigger set to implode the entire town. Emma and Regina combine their powers to deactivate it, but in their distraction, Greg and Tamara kidnap Henry to the dock. On orders of their employees, "The Home Office", they use a magic bean to take Henry with them to Neverland. With only one other bean left in Hook's possession, he, Emma, David, Mary Margaret, Mr. Gold and Regina head to the same realm in pursuit of Henry's captors. Before boarding the Jolly Roger, Mr. Gold says a final goodbye to Belle as this may be the last time they see each other. Giving her a potion, he instructs her to use it to seal the town from outsiders. ("And Straight On 'Til Morning")

From the dock, Belle watches the Jolly Roger disappear into a portal to Neverland. When greeted by some of the town residents, she reveals that though the trigger is no longer a threat to Storybrooke, Emma and her allies have gone to another world to rescue Henry. After showing Mother Superior the potion, which will keep people similar to Greg and Tamara from invading town, Belle and everyone else head to the mines to enact it. ("Dark Hollow")

Powered by a bracelet, a mermaid named Ariel maintains a human form in order to find the man she loves, Eric. With Belle's guidance, she is led to the dock where Eric works as a butcher gutting fish. Shyly, Ariel approaches and the two reunite on happy terms, despite not having seen each other in a long time. Suddenly, they see a flying ship descending from the sky to the harbor. Ecstatic, Belle realizes Mr. Gold has come back from Neverland. As David, Emma, Henry and Mary Margaret walk down from the ship to the dock, they are met with applause and acclaim from the townspeople. Mr. Gold and Neal step off as well to talk with a pleased Belle. Wendy, a former prisoner of Neverland, finds her brothers, John and Michael, within the crowd of people. After she reintroduces Neal to her brothers, the Darlings unanimously decide to go home. Additionally, many of the Lost Boys arrive to Storybrooke for the first time. Only Regina, after leaving the ship, is not welcomed back by anyone, however, Mary Margaret publicly gives her due credit for helping them return home. Despite the peaceful atmosphere, Henry is not himself. Rather, the villain of Neverland, Peter Pan, previously switched bodies with the boy and is now inhabiting his body. ("The New Neverland")

During Second Curse

Henry, stripped of all his memories of Storybrooke, has to cope with the sudden loss of his biological father, Neal. To help him, Killian takes him to the dock and they board a boat to sea. He promises to tell the boy more about Neal, which doesn't happen until after sundown. In the meantime, Henry busily tries his hand at making various ship knots. Once the sky is dark enough, Hook pulls out an item called a sextant, which he once used to teach Neal how to navigate the seas by looking at the stars. Rather than let Hook teach him to use the sextant, he wants to know something factual about Neal in order to come to terms with his death. Henry learns Hook taught his father how to sail when Neal, as a boy, had just lost his own father. Hook comforts him with the knowledge that Henry and his father aren't so different. ("It's Not Easy Being Green")

Threatened by Emma's light magic, the Wicked Witch Zelena disguises herself as Ariel in order to get close to Hook. As the red-haired mermaid, she explains her long and unsuccessful search for Eric, who hasn't been seen since the first curse was undone and everyone returned to the Enchanted Forest. Even so, they are now under a second curse that erased their memories from the year in the Enchanted Forest. However, only Hook managed to escape the curse's effects and retain his memories. Despite recalling how he himself refused to help Ariel find Eric during the lost year, Hook feigns ignorance. Eventually, he is pulled into assisting her look through the pawnshop for something belonging to Eric. Finding the man's cloak, Belle pours a locator spell on it, which leads the mermaid and pirate to the dock. After the clothing sinks into the water, Ariel assumes Eric is dead. Guiltily, Hook confesses what he did in the past. He admits not helping her find love because his own heart was already broken by Emma. To prove he still believes in love, Ariel asks him to swear on Emma's name. He does, and Zelena takes the opportunity to curse his lips. She reveals the real Ariel is already reunited with her prince, and then orders Hook to kiss Emma so all her magic will be drained. ("The Jolly Roger")

Refusing to obey Zelena's command, even though she threatens to harm Henry, Hook decides to take matters into his own hands. He catches Henry trying to leave town on his own and offers him passage via boat instead. One of Hook's former crew mates, Smee is instructed to captain the boat, but before he can, Zelena's flying monkeys attack. While Henry flees, Hook shoots the beasts until running out of bullets. Luckily, Emma arrives to take down the last flying monkey. Confused, Henry doesn't understand what is going on, especially when given a fairytale storybook and asked to believe in magic. As he touches the book, his memories return. Henry rushes over to Regina, but is forced away by Zelena, who begins choking him as a repercussion of Hook's disobedience. Zelena knocks Regina unconscious, though she is no match for Emma's light magic and eventually flees from the fight. After Henry awakens Regina, she accidentally gives him a kiss of true love, which shatters the second curse. ("A Curious Thing")

After Second Curse

Faced with another threat in the form of Ingrid's spell of shattered sight, Hook is sent by Emma to find a way to escape town via boat at the dock. Looking into the distance through a scope, he sees an ice wall rise from beneath the ocean and block off all route exits. Mr. Gold, having recently ripped out Hook's heart, tasks the pirate with using a hat to absorb the nuns, who are currently creating a counter spell to stop Ingrid's curse. Hook criticizes him for killing the cure that could save everyone, but Mr. Gold only cares about leaving town with Belle and Henry, which Ingrid already given him permission to do. ("Fall")

Learning a dark truth about her parents' past, after they previously lied to her about it, an upset Emma disappears to the dock. There, she studies the door illustration containing the trapped Author. On David and Mary Margaret's request, Hook checks up on her, but she asks for more time to think. After he informs her that August's health has improved, Emma hugs him and asks why her parents sent him. Hook guesses that it's because they believe she won't listen to them; an assumption Emma quietly agrees with. ("Best Laid Plans")

After Third Curse

Still reeling from yesterday's events, in which Emma vowed to punish everyone for what they did to her, Henry goes to the dock, where he summons Emma. She magically appears beside him, giving him a warm greeting, before moving to touch his hand, but he pulls away. He apologizes her for failing to save her from the darkness, but Emma explains she holds everyone else at fault except for him. A short distance away, Regina approaches, cautioning Emma to stay away from her son. Unperturbed, Emma stands her ground, asking if Regina is afraid Henry will discover what happened in Camelot. Regina questions her about the memory wipe, which erased everyone's recollections from six weeks prior. Emma admits she cast the curse for a reason, to which Regina vows to discover what that is at all costs. However, she suggests this is not possible because she built the curse to be unbreakable since there's no savior to undo it. Before Regina leaves the dock with Henry, Emma remarks that it's too bad there's no savior, as there's a problem in town that only a savior can solve. ("The Price")

When Hook seemingly convinces Emma to tell him the truth about why she became dark, she brings him to her house. Once they are inside, Emma directs him to look through the telescope, and when he does, Hook sees a view of the harbor's sea. From this, he realizes Emma meant for him to see it since she knows the sea has a calming effect on him. Emma reveals the house was his actually his idea back in Camelot, and he wanted them to move into it together. To keep this future alive, she admits everything she's done up until now is for that reason. ("Broken Heart")

After allowing the previous Dark Ones access into Storybrooke, Hook stands by the harbor, observing the sea. Regina arrives, trying to talk him out of damning Emma's loved ones to the Underworld, but he ignores her. Hook reasons that Regina, of all people, should know how far someone will go for revenge. However, she considers that he wasn't the man he was then when she asked him to kill Cora, and how she tested him to ensure he had no weaknesses. Before she can bring up the weakness in question, he magically constricts her throat, warning her to never speak of it again as she has no idea of his current capabilities. He then drops his hold on her and saunters away from the harbor. ("Swan Song")

While walking along the harbor, David and Snow are attacked by Edmond, who is being controlled by the Evil Queen. The couple defend themselves against him, during which Edmond unrelentingly tries to kill them, but he also reveals he can't stop because the Queen has his Heart. David and Snow manage to force Edmond to the ground at one point, however, he cuts a rope that sends a large netted box careening at them, which knocks them out. Regina arrives to engage him in battle, but when she begins struggling to defeat him, she shouts for Henry to call Emma as backup. Henry, standing nearby, is unable to get his phone to work since the Queen disabled it. Regina is determined to save Edmond when she could not save Charlotte, however, she is forced to kill Edmond when he ultimately disarms her and is preparing finish off David and Snow. In the aftermath, the Queen reveals she orchestrated the whole thing to prove Regina can never get rid of the darkness inside herself. ("A Bitter Draught")

In pursuit of her stepsister Clorinda, Ashley arms herself with a rifle and ends up looking for her at the harbor, where Emma tracks her down. Emma believes she means to kill her stepsister, but Ashley explains that she means to help her because, in their story, she was the wicked stepsister rather than Clorinda. When Emma's hand tremor acts up, Ashley takes the opportunity to run away, with Emma being unable to use her magic to stop her. The Queen antagonizes Emma about what might happen to Ashley if she is not there to rescue her. To further prove this point, she teleports Emma, Hook, and Henry away, to prevent them from finding Ashley. ("The Other Shoe")

After gaining the Dark One's dagger, Mr. Hyde orders Mr. Gold to teleport them to Belle, who is on the Jolly Roger. From the harbor, Hyde makes Mr. Gold watch as Belle tries to escape from a maniacal Dr. Jekyll. Hook arrives to stop Jekyll by shoving him into a harpoon and killing him. Hyde then begins giving another command to Mr. Gold, only to suffer from the same injury that Jekyll had, which ultimately kills him. Regina comes upon Mr. Gold standing over Hyde's body and mistakenly believes the serum killed him, but Mr. Gold reveals Jekyll had to die for Hyde to perish as well. Emma learns this revelation from Regina, who realizes her own capacity for evil hasn't diminished just because she's now separate from the Evil Queen. Regina makes Emma promise to stop her if she ever becomes dark again, which Emma reluctantly agrees to do. Belle confronts Mr. Gold about his decision to trap her on the ship, and what could've happened to her and her child had Hook not been there to save her. She refuses to have his protection ever again if it means she has to pay for his selfishness, and that she can still see him for who he truly is. Mr. Gold, on the other hand, predicts that, while she won't come back to him out of love, she eventually will out of necessity if she wants her child to be safe. ("Strange Case")

After finding the Shears of Destiny, Emma decides not to use them to escape her impending death, and instead, gives them to Hook to allow him to get rid of them. Later, she goes to the dock, where she sees Hook rowing a boat back into the harbor. He assures her that the shears are now thousands of leagues under the sea, and she thanks him with a kiss. Upon hearing the rumbling of thunder, Hook notes a storm is coming soon, with Emma suggesting they have a night in by the fireplace with hot rum. She playfully asks if he wants chinese food and pizza, and Hook allows her to decide, telling her that he just wants to fulfill her heart's desire. As Emma walks away from the harbor alone, Hook watches her go, and then turns around to pull the shears out from the inside of his jacket. ("Street Rats")

Upset at discovering the shears, which Hook hid instead of throwing away like Emma wanted, Henry goes to the harbor to dispose of them. Hook catches up with him and attempts to explain his reasons for keeping the shears, while the boy berates him for making decisions for his mom without consulting her. When Hook grabs his shoulder to stop him from going into the rowboat, Henry angrily rebuffs him, only for Hook to point out an incoming submarine is coming towards them. They try to run, but some of the submarine crew have already blocked them, with one of them announcing that the captain wants to see Hook. ("Dark Waters")

With Hook's help, David lets go of his need for revenge on his father Robert's killer and decides to dispose of Robert's coin into the dock waters. After getting rid of the coin, Robert's spirit vanishes. David apologizes to Hook for compromsing his integerity earlier when he had his help with stealing from Emma, and knows that he has come a long way in changing from the person he used to be. When David suggests he could never repay Killian for helping him give up on vengeance, Hook asks for his blessing so he can propose to Emma. David is silent as he contemplates the question for several beats until he happily gives his consent, which reassures a nervous Hook. ("Murder Most Foul")



On-screen Notes

Set Dressing

Filming Locations


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


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  9. Gittins, Susan (April 2, 2012). PHOTO RECAP: Of Steveston Scenes in ONCE UPON A TIME 1×18. Hollywood North. “Out on the docks in the village of Steveston near Vancouver on a wet, grey February morning, Eion Bailey's August approached Jennifer Morrison's Emma sitting on a bench reading her newly-found son Henry's fairy tale book.”
  10. Gittins, Susan (November 18, 2012). SHOOT: BATES MOTEL Films in Steveston with Lost's Nestor Carbonell & Pan Am's Mike Vogel for 1×04 – Updated. Hollywood North. “In 1×04 Trust Me, the Sheriff & Deputy Sheriff are called to the docks where a fisherman has found murdered Keith Summers's hand in his net. (...) When I spotted White Pine Bay County Sheriff cars on the Steveston docks I hoped that Carbonell would be on set.”
  11. Gittins, Susan (October 4, 2013). SHOOT: Olivia Cooke & Max Thieriot Film BATES MOTEL on Steveston Pier for 2×07. Hollywood North. “Update: Emma (Olivia Cooke) came to find Dylan (Max Thieriot) to tell him that Norman (Freddie Highmore) was in police custody after the death of Cody’s father in 2×07 How can you tell it's Bates Motel and not Once Upon a Time filming in Steveston? For one thing, Emma's signature VW bug is orange not yellow in the A&E hit series. Bates Motel lit up the fishing boats at the Steveston docks to film scenes of Norman Bates’s cystic fybrosis-stricken friend Emma Decody (Olivia Cooke) getting out of her VW bug and walking down the pier to meet Norman's half-brother Dylan Massett (Max Thieriot) at a food truck, pulling her oxygen tank behind her. Dylan”
  12. Gittins, Susan (May 21, 2013). SHOOT: GODZILLA’s Big Fight at Steveston Docks as San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf. Hollywood North. “Godzilla fought other monsters last week for three nights in a row at the Steveston docks dressed like San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf.”

    Gittins, Susan (May 21, 2013). SHOOT: Will this Warhead Make GODZILLA Go Kaboom at the Steveston Docks?. Hollywood North. “In tonight's rehearsal, a group of US soldier extras carry a warhead onto a prop red San Francisco Whale Watching Tours boat at the Steveston docks. Will that be enough to make Godzilla go kaboom?”
  13. InstagramIcon vfxsup (Craig Clarke). November 19, 2019.  "Oldie but a goody ;)" (archive copy)
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