|The Root Cellar Capital of the World|
It was through the coordinated efforts of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Human Resources Development Canada (Service Canada), and locals that Elliston was able to officially declare itself the "Root Cellar Capital of the World" in July 2000. 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.
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 it contents cool during the warm summer months.
The concept of an outdoor storage system such as a root cellar is a very old one as discussed by Dr. Philip Hiscock in an interview for the Old Farmers Almanac concerning Elliston's cellars:
“It’s a workaday item,” says folklorist Philip Hiscock of Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s, who researched root cellars while working with recent restoration projects in Elliston. “It’s an absolutely routine bit of day-to-day life, so it’s not unusual that no one’s spent much time with root cellar history.”
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