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In 1963, after the Crawford Corporation accumulated over 1600 acres (6.5 km²) of land, it announced that it would build a new community called Crofton. This new town and planned community was founded at the same time as Reston, Virginia (April 17th, 1964) and Columbia, Maryland (1967). Crofton would be anchored by a community golfcourse, which later became the Crofton Country Club. Crofton was officially founded in the fall of 1964. The company considered picking an English name for the new town that "sounds well and implies that this is a pleasant place to live." It ended up picking the name "Crofton," named after a small township in Cumberland County, England. The English town was originally called Croft-town, derived from the word Croft, as the town standing upon the Crofts.
Crofton originally consisted of the area in the Crofton triangle, the area bounded by Routes 3 (Crain Highway) in the West, 424 (Davidsonville Road) in the North, and 450 (Defense Highway) in the South. The Little Patuxent River borders Crofton on its Southwest corner at the intersection of Route 3 & Route 450, providing a buffer between Anne Arundel and Prince Georges counties. This region near the Patuxent River is home to a small Air Force base that serves as a satellite communications center to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C. The Crofton area later expanded mostly North to encompass the area bounded by Reidel Road and Underwood Road. The Crofton ZIP code of 21114 -- and thus the census area -- does not encompass large portions of the area commonly known as Crofton, including Crofton Middle School and the region just North of Route 424 and Johns Hopkins Road. These areas include the communities of Crofton Meadows, Walden, Crofton Village, Chapman Farms, Huntwood, and the newly constructed Mt. Tabor Glen. A number of these communities are located in the Gambrills ZIP code of 21054.