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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. In 2009, the town's population was 1,500 to 2,000.
The town is governed by an elected five-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 1,859-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.
The town has a California agriculture inspection station for traffic heading south on Interstate 15. Caltrans has begun construction on a new port of entry on Interstate 15 just south of the Nevada border, between Yates Well Road and Nipton Road. The port of entry is a joint venture between Caltrans, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Department of General Services, and the California Highway Patrol. This new joint port of entry will replace the inspection station in Yermo, and the existing facilities will be demolished.
In the mid-20th century, the Yermo chamber of commerce styled the town the "Gateway to the Calicos", referring to the Calico Mountains and the historic Calico Ghost Town located 3 miles north of town; at the time, Yermo and Barstow were campaigning to establish a state park at Calico. Calico was an active silver mining town from the early 1880s until the turn of the 20th century when it was no longer viable to extract silver ore from the local mines. Walter Knott purchased the town of Calico in 1952, and restored it; later Knott deeded the town to the San Bernardino County. 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.
In 2009, Yermo had three active churches: one Baptist and two non-denominational/fundamentalist.
- Gant, Tina (2003). International Directory of Company Histories. Gale. pp. 89–91.
- "CDFA Field/District Offices". California Department of Food and Agriculture. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Environmental Assessment for Interstate 15 Joint Port of Entry". Bureau of Land Management-Needles Field Office. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
- "Urge Calico State Park". Desert: 32. May 1953. Retrieved 2013-09-06. Excerpted from the Barstow Printer-Review.
- Kyle, Douglas E. (1990). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. p. 314.
- Climate Summary for Yermo, California