Editor’s note: This monthly feature uncovers Santa Monica’s history by compiling notable city happenings from a century ago. The stories are found in old newspaper archives.

Five people were arrested and a rooming house was targeted for closure as local authorities cracked down on prostitution 100 years ago this month.

Santa Monica police Chief Ellis Randall invoked the anti-prostitution Red Light Abatement Act, which took effect in California in 1914, amid investigations of activity at a house in the 1900 block of Main Street, according to a Los Angeles Times brief.

The owner of the property just south of Pico Boulevard, 65-year-old M.J. Stevens, was fined $100 “for maintaining a disorderly house,” the brief reads. That’s more than $2,300 in 2015 money, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“If the Chief’s application to the Superior Court for an order to close the house is granted,” the brief reads, “the place will be sealed for one year.”

Four other suspects were charged with vagrancy after police detectives raided the house. F.C. Tinkle, Billie Ryan, Beatrice Smith and Mrs. Frank Arazia were released on $50 bail.

Tennis stars lured to town

Santa Monica leaders were angling to host a top-level women’s tennis match a century ago this month.

The local chamber of commerce was attempting to bring to town a competition between local resident May Sutton Bundy and Anna Margrethe “Molla” Bjurstedt Mallory.

“While Mrs. Bundy might not insist that the match be held on the court of her home city … it is believed that she would gladly play here,” the Times brief reads.

Chamber president H.M. Gorham, a local banker, was reportedly organizing a committee to invite the players.

Born in England, Bundy won a U.S. championship in 1904 when she was 17 years old and went on to become the first American woman to earn a singles title at Wimbledon. She is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Santa Monica.

Bjurstedt, a Norway native, won a bronze medal in singles for her home country at the 1912 Olympics before going on to capture eight U.S. singles titles.

Council accused of reckless spending

City Council wasn’t happy about anonymous critiques of its work.

The governing body passed a resolution 100 years ago this month asking a shadowy group called the Taxpayers’ League to substantiate a claim that the council was recklessly spending public money, according to a Times brief.

League members accused of “cloaking themselves” in anonymity were asked “to come out in the open and prove the charges or stand self-condemned before a fair-minded citizenship as having unwarrantedly and dishonorably attacked public officials,” the brief reads.

The league’s board reportedly included president O.L. Louden and secretary Harriet Bowles.

Woman enters race for city office

A female member of the aforementioned Taxpayers’ League announced her candidacy for Santa Monica’s public works commissioner a century ago this month.

Alice S. Stewart, a local resident who owned downtown property, was the first woman to enter the race, according to a Times article.

“If elected,” she said, “the first thing I shall do is buy a divided skirt and rubber boots.”

There was also swelling support for Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club president D.G. Stephens to run for the office, which reportedly came with a yearly salary of $3,000, the equivalent of about $70,600 in 2015 wages. Stephens didn’t sound interested.

“If there are going to be any mistakes in trying out a new form of government,” Stephens said, “let the men make them, for men have been making mistakes for so long.”

High schools battle over funds

A funding feud between Santa Monica and Venice high schools led Samohi officials to dismiss several dozen Venice students from their night school a century ago this month.

Samohi authorities feared that Venice would be awarded per-capita state and county money, according to a Times brief. Venice Polytechnic High School was planning to start up its own night school.

Wives air grievances

Santa Monica husbands apparently were not pulling their weight 100 years ago this month.

In a single day, eight women complained to the Los Angeles deputy district attorney’s office that their spouses were “not properly caring for their wants,” according to a Times brief.

“Providing for families is not the virtue most practiced in Santa Monica,” the brief reads.

jeff@www.smdp.com