Looking at Burnettown before it became Burnettown, all anyone would have seen was scrub oaks, pines and high field grass with a rutted wagon road running through it. Then in 1890, Mr. Daniel Burnette bought the land on one side of the dirt road.
About the same time in 1890 a committee was formed in Aiken and Augusta to plan a mode of transportation to make it easier for people to travel between these two cities. These business man decided on a trolley system and begin buying land along which the trolley tracks would be laid for the trolley route. The idea being that as the trolley passed through these populated areas, the trolley would make stops picking passengers up and letting them off.
By 1901 Mr. Burnette had sold a few lots to people who wished to build homes.
The South Carolina Power Company’s Rail System, called the Aiken-Augusta Interurban Trolley Line, began it’s run through the valley area in 1902. Since all the stops the trolley made couldn’t be named on the tickets, people had to have a way to let the conductors know where to let them off. Since Mr. Burnette had sold some of his land to the rail system, people would ask to be let off at “Mr. Burnette’s Land”. So eventually, home owners there began to call it Burnette Town.
In 1929, the trolley line made it’s last run, Everyone who had come to depend on the rail system really felt the loss.
Since cars were still considered a luxury item, most people in the area didn’t own one. A few enterprising men saw the situation and decided to buy cars and offer a much needed service at an affordable price while paying for their cars. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, taxis began taking mill workers to their jobs and back home again for a fee of $1.50 to $2.00 weekly. During other hours of the day, they made fares by taking people shopping, etc.
Finally there were about 50 taxi cabs in the area and it became necessary to have an incorporated town between Aiken, SC and Augusta, GA. Since Burnette’s land was the largest track of land not owned by a mill, it was chosen. Folks there were asked to incorporate in 1941 so that taxis could be licensed to pick up passengers on the highway.
On June 5, 1941, a charter was issued to the Town of Burnettown. The first mayor, Mr. George Dillon, and the Town Council members, Dr. L.B. Royal, Mr. Lewis Everette, Mr. Randolph Patterson and Mr. Henry Miles were elected.
The early Town Hall and water office belonged to Mr. Frank Garvin and was located on Third Street. It was open one day a week from 9am to 5pm.