Found Architecture: Barn Stars

In Architecture, Canada, Travel by Lenore Newman2 Comments

I’m taking a weekend off to catch up on some reading on the Sunshine Coast, and I was thinking about how different it is to be in a rural setting where I am a local. However, thinking back on our travels on the East Coast, sometimes being an outsider makes the mundane visible and novel. In particular I am reminded of the barn stars one finds on houses all along the Labrador coast, in parts of Newfoundland, and all through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Coming from the West, I initially wondered if somehow the region was filled with pagans.

Finding out why the barn stars were there took a little detective work. The trusty ol’ internet was less than helpful, claiming that the stars were either meaningless or indicated a house with a son or daughter in military service. This might be the case in the United States, but finally, after asking around in several towns, I started to get a consistent answer; the barn stars indicate Acadian households, as the star is also on the Acadian flag. This seemed to hold true no matter where I asked.

I suspect I only noticed the barn stars because we don’t have them in the west. Several people I asked stopped and stared at the giant tin star on their restaurant or store, as if they had never even seen it before. I wonder what an Easterner might notice in the West that is invisible to me by dint of being present every day?


  1. Ingram

    Thanks for this information! I’ve been looking for a clue about the barn stars for a wee bit of time.

  2. Dogan

    Thank you for this useful information. I recently moved to Nova Scotia and I was really wondering what those stars on houses mean. I see it in South Shore region where I live and also saw it around Digby today a few times.

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