“Wormwood Manor” is located at 6995 SW 78th and has always intrigued us: large property, an official name, a logo interpreted throughout the property and an air of a country estate. Jan Fredrickson was born and brought home to this property just two weeks after his parents purchased and moved to the property in 1954. The home had been built in 1940. Jan’s grandmother owned the Schanen property on Oleson Road. Like many early properties, the home has a hand-dug root cellar for cool storage of vegetables.
Jan’s parents, Vernon and Jeanette Fredrickson continued to live in Garden Home until their deaths. Jan has placed a memorial bench on the Fanno Creek Trail at 78th to honor their lives in Garden Home. It reads:
In Memory of
Vernon Eldur 12/15/1920 to 1/6/2008
Jeanette Marguerite 7/17/1914 to 8/21/1997
Loving Parents and Creators of Worm Wood Manor
Vernon was an electrical engineer and worked at Tektronix in Beaverton. Jan describes his mother as a vivacious, opinionated, action-oriented woman who could knock down posts to achieve a new porch. She was a collector “of everything” which makes for a most interesting home.
Jan doesn’t know where his mother got the name “Wormwood” for the property. She designated the stylized eagle sign for the entry sign and to adorn the home. She also designed the front porch, a change from the original.
Jan grew up in Garden Home, graduated from 6th grade at Garden Home School, attended Whitford Middle School and then Beaverton High. He remembers that there were few houses on 78th, first called Firlock Lane. The family names listed below may not be correctly spelled, apologies.
The families who lived on 78th, starting with the house next door to Jan and going south were Smith, Nichols, George, Gangones, unknown, Hess, Carlo Poutala, Phil and Marie Mistler, Ernie and Melba Cook and Ellen Bell, an artist. Bev Nichols has lived on the street the longest.
On the east side of 78th, the Partlows lived in the first house next to Garden Home Road, then going north, the columned Partlow-Kickbush house, then Hare, Vermillion, Partlow, Watts, Heisenreiters, Edwards, Shedds and the Dardis family. Other newer homes have been built on the street.
At the northern end of 78th, next to Fanno Creek Trail is a small road where the Calls, the James and the Scott families lived. The Deardorf family lived in the James house and now Lane Gossett lives there.
The properties on the west side of 78th were often platted very narrow and deep with no streets designated for 79th or 80th. The narrowness did not permit flag lots and thus limited use for the back of the lots.
The property at 7555 SW Garden Home Road has been used as a dog grooming business during the 1970s into early 2000s. The Garden Home path now runs along in front of the home as it provides a safe walking path for children and residents who used to have to walk down on the road to get to school. Home owners had to cede a portion of their property to develop this path. However, the early owner of this property was adamant that no one would walk on his property and children had to go down and walk on the busy road and then resume the path at 76th. He was known to put up barricades or sit at the door with his shotgun.
Jan attended the old original school with the entry to the south up many steps to the library. Bicycles were a favorite activity for boys especially. Jan enjoyed climbing trees and building forts, sometimes getting the nickname of Apeman.
Jan worked a variety of jobs ending in food service management at Oregon Health and Science University. He retired in 2008 and then again after working part-time, in 2015. He moved back to the family home after his father died in 2008. He is ably assisted in his activities by his dachshund J.R. and little Yorkie, Huesos. With Jan’s interest in Garden Home history, he has placed a clever early history signage pole on his property, to be seen along Fanno Creek trail.
© 2015 Elaine Shreve, Garden Home History Project