The precise date of Lodena Edgecumbe‘s birth is not known; she was a foundling, discovered in San Francisco shortly after the 1906 Earthquake when only a few days old. Edgecumbe was the surname of the folks who adopted her. She was about nine when she danced at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915. Trained in ballet, she also toured Europe and North America with the Pavley-Oukrainsky troupe, with major opera companies in New York and Chicago, and in big time vaudeville on the Keith circuit. Mentor Serge Oukrainsky had come to the U.S. as the dance partner of Anna Pavlova. Edgecumbe was also influenced by Isadora Duncan.
By the age of 25, Edgecumbe had settled in Vallejo, outside San Francisco, and became a dance teacher, work she performed to much local acclaim for over half a century. She died in 1978.
To learn more about vaudeville, please read No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous