In 1914, Orion Knitting Mills moved their operations from Kinston to Beaufort, North Carolina. To entice the company into moving, Beaufort citizens purchased a lot and erected a building for company use. Local businessmen further influenced the town to exempt the mill for taxes and electrical payments for the first five years of operation. In July, 1914 the company agreed and erected a factory and worker housing on ‘Knit Mill Hill’ near Shell Road, Beaufort. Local women were employed as workers in the mill; they operated machines which manufactured hosiery and knit goods. The Orion Knitting Mill closed in 1931, and was replaced by a tomato packing plant. In 1934, it again transitioned into Saunders Dry Cleaners.