I remember when I started noticing the barn stars. It would have been around 2009 or 2010. This was in Holmes County. When you haven’t been to a place for a few years, it is easier to notice the changes. And for me it had been several years in between trips to this community.
It struck me because in my previous extended visit of several months, I was visiting many Amish homes – hundreds of them – selling books in the community. So this looked like something that had caught on in the intervening years. It certainly made the homes look a bit more “English”. You might take it as a sign of some Amish becoming more like the English in some ways. Superficial ways, or deeper than that?
In 2020, Amish homes in more progressive communities often have exterior decor similar to that of non-Amish rural and suburban homes. WELCOME signs, milk can planters, and other adornments are hardly uncommon. I have done no studies, but by my observation this seems to be a trend that has unfolded over the last 10-15 years.
Today Jim Halverson shares some photos of this sort of exterior decor on Amish homes in the northern Indiana (Elkhart/LaGrange) community. And with Christmas and the holiday season upon us, some of it is seasonal decor.
Wreaths seem to be popular here, as do old bicycles (see below).
Wreath + door again. And a star.
A clock hung on a garage.
Do these large letters represent last names? Hochstetlers and Hershbergers would not be uncommon in this settlement.
“S” for Schrock?
And “M” for Miller, the most common Amish surname?
The above photo also fits the category of seasonal decor. Here’s the full uncropped version. Stocking, snowman, wreath, red bow.
Another Christmas-style wreath.
Finally, I don’t know that this counts as “decor”, but it certainly fits the season.
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What is the meaning of the star?
I have seen the star on many houses in the Lancaster, PA area. When I did some research I found that the star referred to the house having a craftsman. Is there any truth to this?
I don’t believe so. It sounds like that might be in the same family as the “blue gate” lore. Would be neat if it did indicate a craftsman though.
Don't change too much...
I hope they don’t change to much.It’s 1 of the easiest way to know an Amish home from other’s..
I shop at Hobby Lobby (craft and home decor store) in Exton, PA (Chester County). I always see Amish women shopping for home decor. Last week a whole group of them had carts full of Christmas decorations. There are usually a few white vans waiting for them in the parking lot. I had no idea until a few years ago that they were into home decorating.
Interesting. I think this trend is a combination of customs gradually changing in the more progressive communities, combined with the general increased availability of inexpensive yet attractive home decor goods. You can buy just about anything nowadays, and much of it cheaply, in places like Wal-Mart and Target, and Hobby Lobby as in your example here.
Pinterest has come to the Amish.
We visit the ADK a lot & the stars have grown there too, & even in our suburban neighborhood. Yet I do not know what they signify.
I’m not sure what ADK means, but I think your Pinterest comment is on point.
I use to hear them called “Barnstars” and some believe they ward off evil spirits.
Some have a further meaning depending on the color. The Green stars you saw above means fertility, success, and growth. The Blue or Black signify “protection”
You may also see Hex Signs, more like folk art. Some very colorful. 6 Point Star “Hexagram” attributes of God Wisdom, Power, Majesty, Love, Mercy, and Justice. 8 Point Star: abundance and goodwill. 10 Point Star: Harmony in natural world. 12 Point Star: Represents completeness.
Down my way in Texas, the star always means the “Lone Star” state
I never knew that these things also had associated meanings. I would tend to think Amish who put them up are not aware of any attached meanings, and/or that is not the reason they hang them. I think I like the Texas association best.
These are very interesting Amish pictures. When I was living in Florida, I use to see Amish items in the market. This concept is very economical to decor a house. I visited a website (https://supremesignature.com/) that provides antique stars at a fair price.
Guy Blank Concrete
Loved the designs and the content of this page. Make your home as agreeable and alluring as could really be expected and afterward continue ahead with living. There’s a whole other world to life than enlivening.
Hello. I also search home decor blogs and I really like trendy home decor items and thanks, It’s a great thing that this article suggested the importance.