The original town of Tallangatta was founded in the 1870s, with the land reputedly the traditional home of the Pallanganmiddang Aborigines.
On the arrival of the railway in the 1800’s it served as a rail gateway for the Mitta and Upper Murray valleys. A considerable amount of gold and tin mining occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century and it was a main source of income. Since that time, Tallangatta has been a service centre and market town for the local farming community, with a butter factory operating throughout much of the 20th century. Improved road transport links finally ended both the dairy and the rail link in the 1970s.
The most distinctive aspect of the town’s history is the fact that it was moved 8 kilometres to the west in the 1950s to allow for the expansion of Lake Hume, the first time in the history of Australia that a whole township has been moved. The design for the new Tallangatta was based around Modern principles with the idea being that no resident would have to travel more than half a mile to the centre of town.
On 14 April 1955 the old Post Office was renamed Tallangatta East and a new Tallangatta office opened at the new town location. The removal of the old township to its new site required the construction of 35 shops, a shire office, a memorial hall, a court house, police station, three churches, two hotels, a post office, a Masonic Temple, three banks, four garages, hospital and a variety of other sporting and recreational facilities. The town now has a population of around 1000 people and still resembles a typical town of the 1950’s.