Situated about 7 km from Peggy's Cove at the entrance to Blind Bay is West Dover. Several Scottish families along with a few Irish families moved to the area in the early days. James Carrie received 124 acres in 1855 while brothers Henry, James and Noah Fader were issued grants in 1865, 1866, and 1877 respectively. William Burns joined them in 1875 with a grant of 100 acres. Other family names in the early days were the Duggans, Coolens, Tanners, Scotts, Forens, Connors and Murphys.

The communities prospered with the fishing industry in the late 1800s with a post office, hotel, school, and several businesses. The community was also supportive of social assistance groups like the Red Cross. In 1915 teacher Irene Kennedy and others held a pie social and raised $38.20 for the Red Cross. The local shopkeeper in the 1920s and 1930s was Lawrence Duggan.

Between 1928 and 1933 some West Dover fishermen were involved in rum running activities. During the Prohibition in the United States the sale and consumption of alcohol were banned. Schooners would take salted fish to the West Indies and bring back kegs of rum from Jamaica. Then, the American ships would anchor three miles offshore of Nova Scotia's coastal villages, especially around the Dovers and Peggy's Cove, and on dark nights fishermen in their boats would meet them. Liquor could be found hidden under wharfs, in cellars, or any number of hiding places in the communities. For seventy-five cents a ginger-ale-sized bottle could be purchased.

Many risked their lives trying to make a "fast buck" rum-running. Some say they made more money in one run for rum than you might in a year of fishing. Although it was a dangerous trade endeavour, it was one way to make money to support families.