Lexington Park is a census-designated place (CDP) in St. Mary's County, Maryland, United States, and the principal community of the Lexington Park, Maryland Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 11,021 at the 2000 census. The community came into being with the establishment of the Patuxent Naval Air Station during World War II, and was named for the recently sunk USS Lexington aircraft carrier. Prior to this Lexington Park was called "Jarbosville". John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and many noted astronauts trained there. In 1977 the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge spanning the Patuxent River linked the area to Calvert County and Solomons, Maryland. In recent years several aerospace and high-tech companies have located in the area bringing additional jobs. Shopping Centers along Maryland Route 235 ("Three Notch Road") and Great Mills Road have many department stores. Area students attend Great Mills High School. Nearby, Dashiell Hammett, noted novelist, was born on May 27, 1894. Lexington Park in seaside St. Mary's County is one of the nation's fastest-growing "micropolitan" areas, expanding by 14.6 percent since 2000, largely on the strength of military growth. The county population may hit 100,000 next year if it continues at last year's 2.1 percent growth rate. In addition, Southern Maryland is the fast-growing area in the state, and a very desirable bedroom community for people who work in the District of Columbia, but unlike neighboring Charles and Calvert Counties, many in St. Mary's County both work and live in the county. The Patuxent Naval Air Station, which is based in Lexington Park, employs about 20,000 people, driving about 75 percent of the economy in St. Mary's County and providing roughly $3 billion to the state economy. The average price of a home in St. Mary's County in 2007 is $337,501, compared with about $200,000 in 2003. The area is surrounded by farmland and has a countryside charm with an historical appeal. In addition, there are many high tech jobs.