Islip Town sealVisitors to the Islip Public Library might notice a display near the front entrance that comes courtesy of Islip Town Historian George J. Munkenbeck.

The exhibit teaches all about the town’s seal.

Below are five factoids that speak to all the symbols that appear in the seal.

  1. The branches, or plant slips (cuttings), that surround the eye in the middle of the seal represent each of the then-surrounding three towns, with Smithtown atop the eye, Brookhaven to the east (right), and Huntington to the west (left).
  2. The Latin motto “Fide sed cui vide,” fully translated, means “Have confidence but be careful in whom you confide.” In an Oct. 12, 1883, letter to the town clerk from the seal’s creator, A.G. Thompson, he wrote “this motto should ever guide in the choice of town officers.”
  3. Islip was formed due to an error on the part of other towns to include its land in their towns. The eye symbol in the seal represents an “eye slip” on the part of Brookhaven and Huntington to not include in their patents the territory that later became Islip.
  4. The bunch of grapes represent the several patents and necks of land in what made up the territory of Islip, which was made up of more than one patent or land grant, making it different from the other towns.
  5. The year 1683 refers to the first purchase to William Nicoll, which was granted Nov. 29, 1683, and makes up a chunk of what is present-day Islip Town.

The display also answers these questions and more:

Why do we use seals?

How did we get to be named Islip?

Why doesn’t the Islip Town seal recognize the border with Babylon Town?


The Islip Public Library is located at 71 Monell Avenue, Islip, NY 11751.

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