People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Remembering Ernest Hansen, Sr.

Posted by schroeder915 on April 2, 2006

The Times-Picayune:

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz got its name and renown from the machine that Mr. Hansen, a machinist and draftsman, created from stainless steel parts in the midst of the Great Depression in an attempt to avoid the less-than-sanitary snowball practices of the day. …

The whole thing took about five months to figure out, and it’s never broken down in 50 years.

Beginning in 1934, Ernest and Mary Hansen dispensed snowballs infused with fruit- and candy-flavored syrup that Mary Hansen made from scratch.

Mary Hansen passed away in September.

Right before Katrina hit, Mary Hansen was hospitalized in Touro Infirmary with a problem swallowing food. After the problem was treated, her son said, she needed skilled nursing assistance. Ernest, ever at her side, would not leave the hospital. The day she was evacuated — Sunday, Aug. 29 — was his 94th birthday.

Hansen’s Sno-Bliz has been a major landmark in the cultural geography of New Orleans for decades. It was one of the first places I visited in New Orleans that provided me with that unique New Orleans small-town neighborhood feeling. I’m very happy that the family will continue to operate the shop. Nevertheless, since Hurricane Katrina, I’m saddened that we’ve lost so many New Orleans icons of New Orleans.

Show the family you care. Go have a sno-ball at Hansen’s (4801 Tchoupitoulas St).

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4 Responses to “Remembering Ernest Hansen, Sr.”

  1. Adrastos said

    Thanks for posting that. I missed it this morning. I live 3 blocks from Hansen’s and thought that both Mr. and Mrs. Hansen were the bee’s knees.

    Btw, Ashley Hansen has been renovating the house next door to the family business and plan to live there. She’s a terrific person. The business is in good hands.

  2. Thanks for putting this out there. I haven’t a snow-cone in over thirty years… didn’t like what most folks consider a normal one.

    Guess Betts and I are going to have to get over there. Yum!

  3. Schroeder said

    Ashley is indeed a terrific — a truly lovely — person!

  4. I drove by there today, and they were closed, but had a nice wreath and other mementos on the front door.–>

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