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Los Altos means "the heights" in Spanish. The area was originally called Banks and Braes. Paul Shoup, an executive of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and his colleagues formed the Altos Land Company in 1906 and started the development of Los Altos. The company acquired 140 acres (0.57 km2) of land from Sarah Winchester (widow of William Wirt Winchester), who had inherited it from her husband's family; they also purchased a small amount privately owned land for $20 per acre ($40/km²). In 1908, Shoup's group improved the road which linked Stanford University with San Jose – what was then part of Highway 17 – by creating White Oaks Canyon Road to link Woodside Road with Gunn Highways; this new route became known as El Camino Real ("The Royal Road"). In 1910, the developers began laying out plans for a town called "Loyalton", but instead settled on "Los Altos", meaning 'the heights' or 'highlands'.