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At the turn of the century, it was an important coal-mining center. By 1927, the mines closed. It was named for Charles H. Burnett, operator of the South Prairie Coal Company. For a time Lower Burnett, on the creek level below had the railroad station and other buildings. A row of homes on the east side of the Carbon River road at Burnett at one time showed the place to have been a company town, as the homes were all built at the same time and were of the same design. Once a bustling mining town, Burnett, has lapsed into somnolence since the Pacific Coast Coal Company closed its mines nearby in 1927. Burnett residents sustain themselves from “gyppo” mines—small coal operations conducted usually by family groups—back in the foothills. A few drab houses, many of them abandoned, constitute the town.