There are very few limits in this world to how far someone will go in order to win friends, and even fewer in how far they’ll go to influence people. The suburb now known as Carnegie was originally named Rosstown, after William Murray Ross, who planned to build much of the area, and who constructed a now defunct railway that bears his name. But Ross’s scheme (like his railway) failed, and Ross died still wealthy, but frustrated and sad.

His successors had a grand scheme for attracting investment to the region: they would name it after best-selling author and not terribly noted philanthropist Dale Carnegie: they would name their suburb after him. But Carnegie’s response was that, although he was flattered, he felt that if they followed the techniques in his books, they wouldn’t need any other help from him. Frustrated (but not sad), the boosters of Carnegie turned their attentions to Andrew Carnegie, wealthier than Dale and better known for philanthropic largesse, although less for his authorial talents. Andrew Carnegie, though, was far more prideful than Dale, and upon learning that he had been their second choice, threw out all correspondence from the good people of Carnegie. Some search was made for other wealthy (and hopefully generous) Carnegies, but most of them were in hiding by this time, hoping to avoid the issue entirely.

By then, it was too later to change the signage, the maps and all the other apparatus of declaring a locality’s name, and the area has been stuck with Carnegie as a name ever since.

Suburbs near Carnegie:

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