MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — A little wagon has been bringing in big business for more than 110 years.
The Hamburger Wagon is just as historic as downtown Miamisburg.
“They’ve been here as long as I have been alive. Best hamburgers in town,” says customer Zach Best, who lives in Miamisburg.
Cash-only and serving a thousand burgers a day, the wagon dates back to the Great Flood of 1913, Ohio’s worst natural disaster.
With homes under water and thousands displaced, many joined a tent city on top of Mound Hill. That’s where the wagon started. Sherman “Cocky” Porter volunteered to feed people impacted.
“He had a simple family recipe that he knew he could supply all the Miamisburg people with food,” says Becky Ulrich Blake, Manager of the Hamburger Wagon.
Porter started serving his burgers, and he continued the business even after the flood waters receded.
“Once Miamisburg got back on their feet, he was kind of like ‘Okay my job here is done.’ Then, everyone was like ‘Hey where did those sliders go?’ And so he opened back up, and we have been open and selling our burgers ever since,” says Ulrich Blake.
“I used to walk from school about three quarters of a mile all the way here to get hamburgers and cross the river. I saved my lunch money just to buy hamburgers,” says customer William Weaver who now lives in Jacksonville, Florida.
Ever since it’s opened, word about the wagon gets around.
“The lady at the desk at the dental place said ‘You got to go up to this roundabout and park and get in line. You’re going to be blown away by these burgers’,” says Grant Croft who lives in Alexandria, Kentucky.
While ownership has changed over the years, the wagon is pretty much the same, and the recipe remains unchanged.
“They are deep fried. They aren’t, you know, cooked on a grill,” says Ulrich Blake. “They are so simple, and yet so different. So we only have pickles, onions, salt and pepper. We don’t do any cheese, we don’t do any condiments, that’s it!”
The wagon has people lined up daily for a taste of the past.
“Just the experience you know. You got a little cart on the side of the street. It’s a lot better than going to McDonald’s or something like that,” says Best.
The Hamburger Wagon is open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. They also do catering for events.