On the book "Language of the Land," an unusual book published by the
Library of Congress offering maps of imaginary places:
"Somewhere between reality and imagination lies Mark Twain's St.
Petersburg, the home of Tom Sawyer, modeled on Hannibal, Mo. That's where
the young Samuel Clemens lived before he went piloting on the Mississippi,
where he got his pen-name.
"The half-whitewashed fence is on St. Petersburg's Hill Street, just
across from Becky Thatcher's house.
"'There ain't anything that is so interesting to look at as a place that a
book has talked about,' Twain quotes Tom as saying in later life."
The AP article currently lives at
(though I have split the URL into two because my e-mail program allows
only 79 lines). I also have a copy of the story if you read this after the
AP URL goes dead.