Ellen Beach Yaw became Covina's most famous citizen. Known as Lark Ellen because of her four octave soprano voice, she thrilled audiences for over 40 years. Said at the time to have the highst vocal range in history, Madame Yaw toured the U.S and Europe in 1883 to mid 1020's. Born in upstate New York in 1869, Lark Ellen learned to sing as a child. At the age of 14 her mother accompanied her on a series og whistle stop tours across the nation making sure her talented daughter did not accept kisses on or off the stage.
n 1890, Lark Ellen and her mother moved to Covina Ca to be close to her siter, Anne Yaw Thrope. Durning her brief teaching stint at Throop University, later named Caltech, and while working for the Postal Telegragh frim, she and her sister began enteraining with concerts in their home. At the turn of the century while touring opera, she studied under bel canto teacher Mathilde Marchesi. About the same time, her remarkable voice inspired Sir Arthur Sullivan, the composer half of Gilbert and Sullivan, who created for her "The Rose of Persia," his last completed operetta. She enlarged her repertory to roles in more than 15 operas, amoung the " Faust", "La Traviata," and "Don Giovanni" performing at Milan's La Scala opera house where she received standing ovations.
I found out this info on a school trip to Covina City Hall. I hope it helps