Elberta began as the community of Mount Nebo, founded in 1895 by Gilbert Payton and Ernest Rigdon and named for the nearby mountain. After water proved to be a challenge, many settlers left in 1901. Payton and Rigdon's land was purchased in 1907 by Matthew B. Whitney, and the community was renamed Elberta, after a variety of peach that had been planted there. About 250 people still live in the area.

Elberta's most notable landmark is an old Sinclair service station along Highway 6. Originally constructed in nearby Dividend in 1917, it was relocated to Elberta sometime after that town was abandoned in 1947. The location was originally home to an old Conoco station, which was moved out into the field and still stands. The Sinclair station operated until 1982, but has since become one of the most popular stops for photographers in the region.