In March of 1913, massive rainstorms over Easter weekend caused the Miami River to swell and break through the levees built to contain it. Water rushed through downtown Dayton reaching depths of 20 feet. The flood would do $100 million in damage, destroy 20,000 homes and take 360 lives. Miamisburg was likewise devastated with much of the city underwater.
Relief efforts arrived as the Red Cross set up tent cities to provide shelter for the displaced population. Miamisburg resident Sherman "Cocky" Porter volunteered to help feed the people and the relief workers. Trying to feed hundreds of people a hot meal is no easy task, so Porter decided to cook up a huge batch of hamburgers and pass them out to the crowds from a little homemade wagon. They were a hit.
As the floodwaters receded and the town rebuilt, people kept calling on Porter to cook up some of his tasty little burgers. The demand was so high that soon Porter was setting up his little hamburger wagon on the corner of Market Square in downtown Miamisburg every Saturday. Soon enough he was selling enough burgers to make it a full-time endeavor.
Over 100 years later, the little hamburger wagon is still pulled out 7 days a week, all year long. And every day that I was there, a line formed around the corner for these tasty little treats. I couldn't resist trying this little bit of history during my stay. The burgers were pan fried right in front of me while I waited, and I got mine with "everything" which was salt and pepper, onions and a big slice of pickle. Single burgers are just $1.25 and you can get extra pickle for a nickle. Oh, and this is a HAMburger wagon, no cheese allowed.
Almost a hundred years before food trucks became a national craze, "Cocky" Porter pulled out the little hamburger wagon that fed a city in its time of need and become a legend for generations to come. If you ever find yourself in Miamisburg, or on the road between Dayton and CIncinnati, stop by the little Hamburger Wagon on the corner of Market Square and Main Street. It'll be there. As far as the citizens of Miamisburg are concerned, it always has been. Grab a couple of burgers and sink your teeth into some real Ohio history.
The Hamburger Wagon opens at 10:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 on Sunday. It closes at 7 during the summer and 6 during the winter months. For more information, check out their website HERE.