In 1889 prospectors discovered a hill of pure limestone near Tarrawingee. Required as flux for the Broken Hill smelters, the quarry operated from 1891 until 1898 when smelting ceased at Broken Hill and smelters built at Port Pirie came into operation.
Producing 1800 tons per week, the quarry employed around 150 men. A township was established to service the quarry, with the population growing to around 400 people. There was a school which closed at the end of the 1900s, a post office and two hotels, the Tarrowangee Hotel and the Great Northern. Some homes were constructed of stone, others were little more than tents. The Tarrawingee Hotel was constructed of wood and iron with an underground tank beneath the floor. Late in the nineteeth century a police station and courthouse were established.
In addition to the quarries, several wood carters lived in Tarrawingee, cutting and carting wood for use in the Broken Hill. For a while a teacher provided part‐time lessons for the wood‐cutters children.
There are no standing buildings in Tarrawingee today, just the stone foundations of a few, including the Tarrawingee station building.
In September 1890 approval was given for the construction of the Tarrawingee Tramway to carry the limestone back to Broken Hill. It ran for 61.5 km from Broken Hill, crossing several major creeks, including Yancowinna. Built by JS Reid of the Tarrawingee Flux and Tramway Company Ltd the narrow gauge line and was completed in just six months, by June 1891.
The line operated until 1930. it provided transportation for people travelling not only to Tarrawingee, but was also a stepping off point for coaches travelling to the north, to Tibooburra via Euriowie, Cobham and Milparinka. For a short time it reopened to cart stone for the Broken Hill Power Station, but closed permanently in 1932. The line was removed in 1936.
Of the Tarrawingee Tramway, concrete pylons remain at several creek crossings as well as the embankments constructed to support the rails.