Since its dedication in July 1963, over 300,000 people from all fifty states and thirty-four foreign countries have visited the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia. Over 5,000 natural history specimens are on exhibit, including mounted birds, animals, fish, and reptiles. Larger animals, rarely seen except in large metropolitan museums, include the buffalo, American elk, caribou, and Rocky Mountain goat. The movement for the museum was started in Gastonia in 1958, when Mr. and Mrs. R. M. Schiele offered their collections valued at over $100,000. Mr. Schiele is the former curator and artist-taxidermist of the Philadelphia museums and former ranger-naturalist of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.