The History of the Barn Star Adorning many homes around Lancaster County is the rustic Barn Star. The Barn Star originated within the German farming community. These farmers would often mount a large star-shaped decoration onto their barns. Its significance varied. Some farmers considered the stars good luck, like a horseshoe hung above a doorway; while others viewed it as simply aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. Many barn stars, unique in their appearance, represented the trademark of the builder who constructed the barn. The tradition of the barn star in America can be traced back to the 1700’s, and to at least the 1870’s in Pennsylvania. Barn stars were most popular after the Civil War. The barn star composition has changed over the years. At first they were built directly into the barn. Later the stars were crafted from wood as a separate piece. In the last 30 years, barn stars were constructed from roofing tiles, giving them a rough finish. Recently, since the ‘90s, local craftsmen have been making them from thin steel, unfinished, so they rust. The present-day Barn Star, now popular on homes of every size and shape, has come to mean an outward sign of good luck and good fortune!