The town of Elliston offers tourists everything from the coziness of outport Newfoundland to the occasional whale in the harbour. But it’s what makes the town different from any other outport that brings those from all around the world to the area.
There were only 350 people living in Elliston in the spring of 2006, but the town featured more than 130 root cellars. More than half of them were over a century old at the time, built into the side of the community’s hills.
Not all root cellars were able to stand the test of time, with some taking damage over the years. After the town dubbed itself the root cellar capital of the world in 1997, restoration began to capture the essence of the past and attract tourists to the region.
Learn more about the root cellars of Elliston in this Land & Sea archival special, originally airing in 2006:
Many in the community still used root cellars for their vegetables, seeing it as the only proper way to store a potato. It paints a picture of a period of life when root cellars were a necessity and not just a tourist attraction.
The cellars and stored veggies also served as a way to bring the community together. Community gardens and cellars helped to feed the community and make sure that no one was left without the vegetables they needed. It also helped fuel Elliston’s other claim to fame: the best Jiggs’ dinner in the province according to locals and tourists.
More to discover
Want more Land & Sea? Click here to see a playlist of archival episodes on our YouTube channel, and you can watch more recent episodes on our CBC Gem streaming service.
Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador