Updated!: ‘The Simpsons’ Hometown Revealed!
Woe be unto the person who is kept up late at night wondering where 'The Simpsons' is set. There are a number of Springfields in America, though one could think Massachusetts might have a lead if only because Mayor Quimby is so obviously modeled on a Kennedy Brother. But Matt Groening has revealed his source of inspiration...
He told The Smithsonian that as an native Oregonian he assumed it was Springfield, Oregon. But he also says that he picked the name because it had no real regional implications. Those people who actually want to know the location can now be satisfied.
And if it really is Springfield, Oregon it's worth noting that the state did have a nuclear power plant (which was decommissioned in 1992) located in Columbia County - making Homer's commute three hours. Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon, which is about two hours away from Oregon's Springfield. It's hard to say from Groening's biography if he spent much time in the actual Springfield, though it is right next to the University of Oregon (which he did not attend, but is a big concert town).
UPDATE: EW notes that this revelation will be referenced in this Sunday's 'Simpsons.'
(Personal Note: Groening has confirmed that Mr. Burns was partly based on his high school Journalism teacher, who also happened to be my high school Journalism teacher)