Over the years, Elliston has been known for the numerous root cellars that are still standing in the region. A root cellar is a structure that was built in the days before electricity, in order to keep vegetables from freezing in the winter months and to keep contents cool during the warm summer months. In July of 2000, through the coordinated efforts of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Human Resources Development Canada, and locals residents, Elliston was able to officially declare itself the "Root Cellar Capital of the World."
Elliston boasts 135 documented root cellars, some of which have survived nearly two centuries. This makes Elliston a cultural center for those who seek to gain an understanding of early Newfoundland subsistence.