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Au Clair School (McCoy House)

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McCoy House
1892–1897. 4185 Kirkwood-St. Georges Rd., 0.1 miles west of DE 1 Bridge
  • Au Clair School (Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs, Dover, Del.)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

Dr. John C. McCoy became wealthy by developing a patent-medicine catarrh remedy. He was also a horse breeder and operated a public harness-racing track here starting in 1892, with a 3,000-seat grandstand. His twenty-eight-room mansion is unusual in Delaware for its Germanic flavor, and family legend attributed the design to McCoy's student days in Germany. Extremely steep roofs employed ninety tons of brown glazed tiles from Belgium, and walls two feet thick were faced with yellow brick. The home was familiarly known as the Gingerbread House for its picturesque qualities. Inside, pine paneling and decorative woodwork is copious, and there are massive brick chimneypieces. A mosaic of a Greek goddess was derived from a coin in McCoy's collection. In the late 1960s, the house became a pioneering school for autistic children.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Au Clair School (McCoy House)", [Bear, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 199-199.

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