Now that it's June in Minnesota, many of us will heading out on summer vacations soon. And while you're traveling around our fine state if you happen to see a familiar barn with a star on it, do you know what it means?

Barns are located all across the North Star State. Thanks to the agricultural nature of many of our state's first settlers, the Land of 10,000 Lakes has been home to many different barns over the years. According to Friends of Minnesota Barns, some of the very first barns started appearing in Minnesota as early as 1860-- just two years after Minnesota became a state!

Did you know there are many different types of barns that adorn the Minnesota landscape? Friends of Minnesota Barns says there are 10 main types of barns you might see here in the Gopher State:

  • Beef barns
  • Dairy barns
  • General purpose or combination barns
  • Hay barns or sheds
  • Hog barns
  • Horse barns
  • Milking barns
  • Sheep barns
  • Threshing barns
  • Tobacco barns

And many of those barns have a 'barn star' somewhere on them. But did you know that a star you might see on a bright red barn here in the Gopher State isn't just a decoration? Though it might look like it thanks to the 'modern farmhouse' style of decorating that's popular these days, these 'barn stars' do have a deeper meaning behind them.

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A real 'barn star' here in the Bold North is a tradition brought over to Minnesota by our German ancestors. This Taste of Country story notes that while some 'barn stars' were simply painted on the wood, many are made of actual metal and attached to the exterior side of a barn structure, some of which you can still see today.


And they weren't just decorations, Taste of Country says. Initially known as Pennsylvania stars or primitive stars, these metallic stars originally had a very distinct meaning:

These stars were commonly installed on barns by early Dutch and German settlers to ward off evil. The stars were also known to bring good luck to farmers, too.

This story backs up that claim, saying that while barnstars do not likely have any structural purpose, many are considered lucky, similar to a horseshoe that you might see mounted over a doorway. Keep scrolling to check out a cool video that shows what some of these classic 'barnstars' look like here in Minnesota and across the Midwest.

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Sadly, many of Minnesota's classic barns are falling into disrepair or have already been torn down and are lost. Keep scrolling to check out some other classic retail chains that are also not around anymore as well.

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Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

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