WAYLAND — Some ghost hunters out of California want to do a documentary on the deadly train accident that occurred near Gunlocke in the 1940s.

They told a community member who sent them this information that they would credit the Wayland Historical Society in the film for all the photos and information.

Helen Sick, president of the Wayland Historical Society told The Genesee Country Express about the train wreck that happened in 1943.

“There was a horrible train wreck here many years ago,” Sick said. “The train was coming from New York City to Buffalo and the engine came out. The windows broke and the passengers were steamed to death. I don’t think there were any survivors.”

The train wreck Sick mentioned happened on Aug. 23 around 6 p.m. and cost 27 people their lives. Unfortunately many of them were scalded beyond recognition, making it very hard for local officials to identify them. The passenger train was carrying 500 people and 150 of them were severely injured. Meanwhile, according to an Associated Press article, the state Public Service Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission launched an investigation into the accident, naming it one of the worst catastrophes in American railroading. The railroad had announced it would open its own inquiry.

With the front end of the switch engine sheared off and its driving cylinder smashed, the engine came to rest alongside one coach of the Limited and steam, pouring from the broken cylinder, swirled through the coach.

The trapped victims crouched on and under seats as they tried to avoid the steam. Some escaped through windows, smashed by rocks from the outside or kicked through from the inside. Those who lost their lives and could be identified were listed in an Associated Press article in 1943: Fred Meincke of Scranton, Pa., supervisor of locomotive operations; Catherine Elliott, 21, of New York City; Helen Foster of Binghamton; Clayton Roloson, 53, of Bath; Margaret Grambach of Cleveland; Anna Heyman and Henrietta Smith, both of Brooklyn; Mildred Cohen of Jersey City; Dorothy Middleton, 32, of Buffalo; Anne Chelko, 22, of Cleveland; Mavis King of Williamsville; Margaret Sautter, 28, of New Jersey; Frances Ripley, 65, of Painted Post; Helen Pfaff, 16, of Ridgewood; William Davie, 74, of Granton; Marion Andrews, 38, of Nichols and her 9-year-old daughter, Betty; Margaret Flegg, of Brooklyn; Agnes Hodge of New York City; Margaret Konecsny, 36, of New York City; Mary Eynon, 84, of Cleveland; and Ann Gaumbach, 5, of Cleveland.

This and other train-related things will be talked about at the open house for the caboose, which has been repaired by Board Director Bruce Brown. The caboose was bought by Gunlocke and used as a mini-apartment for guests at his home. It was purchased by the Wayland Historical Society and now sits in the lawn. Board Director John Landino will be showcasing it and discussing it at the open house. The open house is at 2 p.m. Sept. 13.

Palmer General Contracting has been working steadily on the roof and getting the room ready for the beef on weck dinner in July.

“We did the cement last fall, but have just started working on the roof,” Sick said. “We are going to keep this room open and use it for more exhibit space.”

The idea is to showcase the new room during the annual dinner the society has put on for the last 10 years. The dinner is $9 per adult and $5 per child under 12. There will be live music performed by Harry and Ken Reynolds. The event goes from noon to 3 p.m. July 26.

For a long time, so many things have been cooped up in the building and with the new space the Historical Society can show more of the beautiful things people have donated over the years. The board of directors also wants to use the room to hold meetings in since they have been doing that in the front room for years.

This will make it easier for the Steuben County Jail to send a few prisoners at a time for community service. Sick added the society has been allowing a couple prisoners at a time come up and help around the building. Years ago this was very lucrative so they brought the program back in May.

“They do inside and out work,” she said. “They do clean up work and anything else we need. We can’t let them use power tools and a deputy is watching them the whole time. We get three at a time and they are very polite and do anything we ask them to do. Our treasurer gave them cookies and coffee left over from our High Tea gathering.”

Other programs include a garage sale Aug. 20, 21, and 22. A bake sale will also take place Aug. 22.

The main thing the society needs is volunteers and donations. Anyone who would like to volunteer or make a donation can contact Helen Sick at (585) 728-5108 or stop in Monday from 10 a.m. to noon. The society is also open Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. from April to December. All the events are free except the beef on weck.