By Margaret Magnus
When Avatar Meher Baba visited Meher Mount on August 2, 1956, Agnes Baron, the then owner and caretaker, drove Meher Baba and the mandali (close disciples) in her station wagon from Los Angeles.
MEHER BABA ACTED LIKE A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Along the way, Meher Baba admired the rich agricultural land. He asked many questions, such as “What was being grown, how was the land irrigated, are there orchards?”
“Meher Baba was talking as if He were a real estate agent,” Agnes cracked.
Later on that visit, Agnes took Meher Baba on a tour of the land. He was very particular to be shown all the boundary lines and fence posts, asking where the north-south and east-west lines were.
Meher Baba had stood out at the point near Baba’s Tree and asked Agnes Baron if she knew where the property corner was, pointing to Meher Mount’s southeast corner. Her response was that the corner was down that rugged canyon, but she could not specify the corner exactly. Meher Baba “looked displeased,” Agnes said.
A COMPLETE SURVEY YEARS LATER
Agnes Baron told that story many times and wondered about it. As part of long-range planning, a boundary survey and aerial topographical map of Meher Mount was completed in 2008.
Meher Mount engaged the survey company Development Resource Consultants of Anaheim, California, to conduct the surveys and hired Don Swartz, Quest Property Management of Palos Verdes, California, to oversee the process and work with the survey company and the County of Ventura.
The survey company completed both the boundary survey and the aerial topographical map of Meher Mount. The entire project including a title report and review of title exceptions was completed for $33,917.
RECORD OF SURVEY
The boundary survey was filed with Ventura County, and the County Surveyor reviewed the Meher Mount survey and reconciled the boundaries with the existing surveys on file. The survey was reconciled and recorded with the County of Ventura on March 31, 2008.
According to the survey company, most of the previous surveys of surrounding properties were not rigorously executed, probably due to the challenging terrain.
MONUMENTS ON THE CORNER BOUNDARIES
After the final “Record of Survey” was recorded, the surveyors returned to Meher Mount and placed corner markers or monuments at all the corners of the property.
As might be imagined, the southeast corner where Meher Baba pointed in 1956 when He asked about the boundaries proved more challenging. Few if any people go to that point because of remoteness and the difficulty of climbing the valley walls that enclose that corner.
During the monumentation process, Manager/Caretaker Ray Johnston made the difficult hike with the surveyors down to that corner area and described the events.
Once there, they found a prior offset marker which had been placed as part of a previous monumentation effort, probably by a neighbor. It was anticipated that Meher Mount would also have to do an offset marker due to the difficulty of reaching the exact corner.
MINOR LANDSLIDE MARKS THE SPOT
Continuing, the surveyors identified the actual corner where they wanted to place the monument. In trying to put the new marker in the rock, one of the surveyors had to climb up the hillside a little higher and in doing so started a small landslide.
The surveyor down below took shelter as boulders the size of soccer balls and several tons of debris flew over his head.
Manager/Caretaker Ray Johnston, who joined the surveyors on this project, said he was amazed to see the landslide funneling exactly to the point where they were trying to put in the marker. He marveled at the amount of energy that was focused on that one point that Meher Baba had asked about.
AN ANSWER TO MEHER BABA'S 52-YEAR-OLD QUESTION
In the end, the surveying party succeeded and placed a monument pin exactly at the boundary corner and answered Meher Baba’s 52-year-old question.
 The objective is to put markers at the actual corners of the property. However, when the terrain is too difficult to reach to the corner point, surveyors often put in an “offset marker” noting the actual coordinates.
PROJECT GOALS & PURPOSE
The purposes of the Boundary/Topographical Survey Project were: (a) to answer Avatar Meher Baba’s 1956 question regarding the southern boundaries of the property; (b) to create tools to be used in Meher Mount’s long-range planning process; (c) to be good stewards of the land by resolving or improving any existing or potential land use, legal and/or boundary issues, including those contained in the current title report; and (d) to be good neighbors and to coordinate well with Ventura County through appropriate channels.
The project included: (a) Boundary Survey of Meher Mount’s 173 Acres; (b) Monumentation of the Corners of the Property; (c) Record of Survey for Meher Mount in Ventura County; (d) Aerial Topographical Map of Meher Mount; and (d) Review of Current Title Report with Recommendations on Action Items to Clarify Any Outstanding Title Issues.