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Yermo is a town in San Bernardino County, California. Its name is derived from the Spanish word for wilderness. It is located 13 miles east of Barstow in the Mojave Desert on Interstate 15, just south of the Calico Mountains. The town has a population of 1,500-2,000 (2009).
The town is governed by an elected 5 member Board of Directors comprising the Community Services District authorized by the County of San Bernardino. The board meets once monthly. The CSD retains the following powers: Volunteer fire department, (Yermo/Calico V.F.D.), street lighting, parks and water maintenance. The ZIP Code is 92398, and the community is inside area code 760. Yermo has a "P.O. Box Only" U.S.P.S. delivery office. There is no street address delivery offered.
Yermo hosts the 1859 acre (7.5 km2) storage and industrial annex of the Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.
When Interstate 15 freeway opened in 1968, the town of Yermo was immediately bypassed by traffic traveling to and from Las Vegas, Nevada. As a result, 90 percent of the local businesses were unable to succeed and closed. During its heyday, Yermo had 27 gas stations with mechanics on duty, seven bars, two grocery stores, a hardware store, a pizza shop, four real estate offices, three motels, a thrift store, several restaurants, roadside camping sites and two parks. In 2009, Yermo had one grocery/general store, one bar, one thrift store and one park in town and three restaurants, four gas stations, one motel three miles south of town. The fast-food restaurant chain Del Taco was founded in Yermo in 1964 and the original structure remains active as a local fast food restaurant, The Burger Den.
Yermo was and remains the "Gateway to the Calicos," referring to the Calico Mountains and the historic Calico Ghost Town located 3 miles north of town. Calico was an active silver mining town from the late 1840s until the turn of the 20th century when it was no longer viable to extract silver ore from the local mines. The town of Calico was purchased by Mr. Walter Knott and used as a model for the Knott's Berry Farm amusement park in Los Angeles. Mr. Knott sold the town to the San Bernardino County and the county has since recreated a successful and historic County Park, which serves as an attraction for tourists in Southern California.
Silver Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) is the authority for education in the Yermo area. SVUSD operates K-12 schools in communities of Yermo, Daggett, Newberry Springs, and the U.S. Army National Training Center at Ft. Irwin.
Yermo currently (2009) has three active churches: one Baptist and two Non-Denominational/Fundamental.