More Than Decoration: Barn Stars Sustain the Spirit of Folk Tradition

The rungs of the extension ladder echoed across the hollow as the barn star painters prepared to ascend the facade of the barn to begin their third and final day of work. Carefully selecting their brushes and colors, the painters took their places 20 feet above the barnyard where they worked their magic. With rapid and calculated movements, they began applying the paint to the rough contours of...
read more

Melester Barn

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) lists about 20 properties per year in the National Register of Historic Places. PA SHPO staff responds to nominations submitted by the public to recognize a particular building, site or district for its historic value and as a course to make it eligible for grants or tax credits to support the property’s restoration or rehabilitation....
read more

If Only the Walls Could Talk: The Story of the Federal Barn

“There is no building that does nor develop some unexpected charm with age; but the early American barn, taking into consideration its reason for being, I’ve found to be an exceptional and impressive subject. The growth of moss, the dust of hay, the powdering of mortar in joints, the mellowing of cut stone, the aging of wood – all things thought to be unfortunate – are...
read more

Lost and Found

Lost Although many farms were established in Lancaster County in the eighteenth century, most of the surviving barns and outbuildings were erected in the nineteenth century. Early log barns were replaced by wooden, stone, and brick barns. Of brick barns, the most impressive are those whose gable ends were laid in elaborate patterns of pierced or reticulated brickwork. These openings, commonly in...
read more