It takes about seven to eight months to do one of the programs right, he said. He has paid out of pocket for the two shows so far, which cost about $8,000 each for research, travel, editing and production costs.
"Obscurely Famous" is screening as part of a public TV fundraising campaign, and Crutchfield hopes raising the profile of the series may lead to some additional support.
"I would love to find some funding to do a more complete job. I'm not in it to make money -- I would be happy to pay for what my raw costs are. It's just something I love."
As for whose grave might qualify for future episodes of "Obscurely Famous," here is Crutchfield's barometer: "Someone who touched popular history in some way or popular culture. It's a mixture of historical value and trivia."
Such as the fact that somewhere out in Mason County apparently lie the remains of the grandfather of Samuel Clemens -- aka Mark Twain -- according to a county historical marker.
His actual tombstone has yet to be found. But according to the marker, Samuel and Pamela Clemens settled in the county in 1803 and Twain's grandfather was killed in a "house raising" in 1805. The couple's eldest son, John Clemens, father of the writer who would take the pen name Twain, lived for a while in the county before moving west.
The historic value of Crutchfield's project already has led the Cabell County Library to seek copies of the video on Cabell for its main and branch libraries.
So, which West Virginia county is up next on his grave-sweeping radar? "I'm debating between Putnam and Logan," Crutchfield said.
With all the national attention from the recent History Channel series on the Hatfield-McCoy feud -- a history largely centered on Logan County -- that area is especially appealing right now, he said.
Last October, before the cable series, spin-off programs and books hit the national media, Crutchfield visited the grave of Devil Anse Hatfield, patriarch of the Hatfield clan. "It was completely overgrown," he said.
He visited again last week and a completely different scene awaited him, he recounted. "The grass is shorter than your front yard is -- it's just completely redone."
There also were about 30 people milling about who had sought out the grave.
To be sure, the visitation was all generated by the History series hoopla, he said. "Which tells me there is an interest in this."
For many of the graves on out-of-the-way, untended locations, the clock is ticking, he said. "My hopes are to somehow preserve some of this rich history that is about to be lost."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.